Erwin M. Segal,
Research Interests

Erwin Segal has been conducting research in several areas, all of which focus on issues of complex cognition, or higher mental processes. These include:

  1. Narrative comprehension and production. I have a theory that attempts to describe the mental processes and actions that underlie how people process, understand and 'get into' stories that they read or witness. In this area of research I usually use "real" narrative texts for my materials, such as a short story by O Henry. The texts may be modified in certain ways before being given to people to read and answer questions about. I also do non-experimental empirical work analyzing the language and structure of narratives written for other purposes.
  2. Problem solving. I study some factors that seem to help people understand how to solve different kinds of complex logical and causal problems. Research participants are given problems to solve under different conditions.
  3. Scientific theory. I am very interested in doing theoretical research on concepts that underlie psychological theory, and the relations between theory in psychology and other sciences. This research has yet to evolve into empirical studies, but I remain optimistic that it may soon do so.
I believe that quality performance in these areas of cognition is a skill that one can develop. One of my interests is to develop intervention strategies that will improve the quality of performance in these important areas of cognition.
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