The Construct of Meaning


Series: Perspectives on Cognitive Psychology
BISAC: PSY008000

This book includes a comprehensive investigation of the concept of meaning, focusing on its structure, function, and materials. In terms of structure, it is proposed that meaning is a unit which consists of two components: the carrier of meaning, called referent, to which meaning is assigned, and the meaning assigned to the referent, called meaning value. In terms of function, meaning is designed to identify inputs from outside and inside the organism, so as to enable responding to them in forms adequate for the psychological system. Otherwise expressed, meaning turns stimuli into potential triggers of reactions on all psychological levels. In terms of materials, meaning consists of cognitions, which are neither expected to be logical or rational nor are necessarily subjected to awareness, voluntary control or verbal expression. So, in practice, meaning consists of cognitive units, which are characterized in terms of referents and meaning values, forming sequences and networks, providing identification of stimuli and potentialities for grasping reality, reacting to it and transforming it.

This book is a culmination of the author’s decades of academic experience in pursuit of an understanding of meaning. In this book’s thirteen chapters, meaning is explored through a variety of perspectives, including those drawn from evolutionary psychology, linguistics, cognition, personality, and other fields. Also, exercises are included that provide tasks designed to allow readers to familiarize themselves with the system of meaning elucidated in the book.

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Table of Contents


Chapter 1. What is Meaning: Past Trails and a New Route

Chapter 2. Meaning: The Definition and Meaning Variables

Chapter 3. The Assessment of Meaning

Chapter 4. The Meanings of Verbal Inputs: Words, Sentences and Beyond

Chapter 5. Meanings of Nonverbal and Quasi Verbal Inputs

Chapter 6. Development of Meaning and the Evolutionary Perspective

Chapter 7. The Structure and Functioning of Meaning

Chapter 8. The Construction of Meaning

Chapter 9. Meaning in Language: Language as a Tool for Expressing, Communicating and Generating Meaning

Chapter 10. Meaning in Cognition: Cognitive Acts, Problem Solving, and Models

Chapter 11. Meaning and Personality: Traits and Beyond

Chapter 12. Meaning in the Sphere of Feelings and Emotions

Chapter 13. Intervention for Training, Changing and Improvement of Meaning

Concise Table of Meaning Variables

List of Definitions of Some Basic Terms Used in the Book

Exercises for Coding Meaning


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