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Information Processing

John O. Greene


Information processing is an approach to the study of behavior which seeks to explain what people think, say, and do by describing the mental systems that give rise to those phenomena. At the heart of the information-processing perspective is the conception of the mind as a representational system. That is, the mind is viewed as a system that (1) holds information in some form, and (2) processes (i.e., utilizes, transforms, manipulates) that information in some way in carrying out its input-processing and behavioral-production activities. To be more precise, the mind is viewed not as a single representational system, but as a collection of subsystems, each coding information in its own way, and each carrying out its own particular operations on that information. The basic idea, then, is to describe how information is held in one or more subsystems, and how that information is processed in those subsystems, in order to explain the perceptual, mental, and behavioral phenomena of interest. The goal of the information-processing approach is to explain the link between what a person hears, sees, tastes, feels, and smells and what he or she thinks, says, and does. The information-processing perspective has proven to be enormously important in advancing our understanding of a wide range of phenomena of interest to communication scholars. In part this is because so much of what is involved ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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