Implicit Cognitive Vulnerability

Implicit Cognitive Vulnerability

Caroline M. Crawford (University of Houston – Clear Lake, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7365-4.ch057

Abstract

Through the concept of implicit cognitive vulnerability, the learner develops a “comfortableness” within the instructional environment that engages the learner in a creative understanding of the subject matter that reflects a cognitively vulnerable sense of understanding that engages the learner in new and different ways with the subject matter. This cognitive vulnerability is not only creative in nature, but the “comfortableness” to safely “think outside the box” in new and different ways more fully supports the learner's understanding of the subject matter. The importance revolving around a learner's “comfortableness” within an instructional environment is a level of engagement within the learning community that impacts not only the sense of community engagement towards motivational and self-efficacy efforts, but more importantly the learner's sense of belonging and “comfortableness” within a learning community.
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Background

Cognitive vulnerability within the realm of cognitive psychology has a focus upon states of emotional depression (Haeffel & Hames, 2014; Hanklin & Abramson, 2001; Matthews & MacLeod, 2005; McGinn, Nooner, Cohen & Leaberry, 2015). However, within the learning process, one might suggest that cognitive vulnerability is not so much a state of depression, as much as a state of cognitive dissonance wherein the learner is attempting to understand information in new and different ways, by not only framing the information within the previously developed knowledge base, or conceptual framework of understanding (Vygotsky, 1933/1966, 1935, 1981) as well as the learner’s need for support within Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (1943, 1954, 1962, 1968, 1964/1970a, 1970b) that frames a five stage model that frames the deficiency needs (physiological, safety, social, esteem) and growth need (self-actualization) as vitally important areas of impact upon a learner’s motivational needs. One may suggest that the vulnerability inherent within the learning process engages Vygotsky’s conceptual framework of understanding the specific subject matter that also includes the connectedness of the new information with previously understood information, with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs that engages in the safety and esteem aspects of the community of learning (Klamma, Rohde & Stahl, 2005; Swan, 2002). This also supports Wittgenstein’s (1961) work related to a learner’s understanding of information within the realm of their own socially communicated and socially corrective understandings that frame learned information within a social context that may be perceived as the community of learning environment as well as the larger community of practice that also includes the larger social realm of influence.

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