Grounding Social Sciences in Cognitive Sciences

Edited by Ron Sun

Research in the cognitive sciences has advanced significantly in recent decades. Computational cognitive modeling has profoundly changed the ways in which we understand cognition. Empirical research has progressed as well, offering new insights into many psychological phenomena. This book investigates the possibility of exploiting the successes of the cognitive sciences to establish a better foundation for the social sciences, including the disciplines of sociology, anthropology, economics, and political science. The result may be a new, powerful, integrative intellectual enterprise: the cognitive social sciences.

The book treats a range of topics selected to capture issues that arise across the social sciences, covering computational, empirical, and theoretical approaches. The chapters, by leading scholars in both the cognitive and the social sciences, explore the relationship between cognition and society, including such issues as methodologies of studying cultural differences; the psychological basis of politics (for instance, the role of emotion and the psychology of moral choices); cognitive dimensions of religion; cognitive approaches to economics; meta-theoretical questions on the possibility of the unification of social and cognitive sciences. Combining depth and breadth, the book encourages fruitful interdisciplinary interaction across many fields.

Table of Contents

  1. Contents
  2. Preface
  3. I. Introduction
  4. 1. Prolegomena to Cognitive Social Sciences

    Ron Sun

  5. II. Culture
  6. 2. Mapping Minds across Cultures

    Paul Thagard

  7. 3. Cognitive Basis of Culture and Cultural Processes

    Norbert Ross

  8. 4. Egocentric and Allocentric Perspective in Cultural Models

    Bradd Shore

  9. III. Politics
  10. 5. Emotional Underpinnings of Political Behavior

    Stanley Feldman, Leonie Huddy, and Erin Cassese

  11. 6. Theory and Practice in Political Discourse Research

    Peter Bull and Ofer Feldman

  12. 7. Cognition and Moral Choice

    Kristen Renwick Monroe

  13. IV. Religion
  14. 8. Psychological Origins and Cultural Evolution of Religion

    Scott Atran

  15. 9. Religion: From Mind to Society and Back

    Ilkka Pyysiäinen

  16. 10. Ritual, Cognition, and Evolution

    Harvey Whitehouse

  17. V. Economics
  18. 11. Cognitive Variables and Parameters in Economic Models

    Don Ross

  19. 12. Neuroeconomics: How Neuroscience Can Inform the Social Sciences

    Joseph W. Kable

  20. 13. Cognitive Aging and Human Capital

    John J. McArdle and Robert J. Willis

  21. VI. Unifying Perspectives
  22. 14. Going Cognitive: Tools for Rebuilding the Social Sciences

    Mathew D. McCubbins and Mark Turner

  23. 15. Role of Cognitive Processes in Unifying the Behavioral Sciences

    Herbert Gintis

  24. Contributors
  25. Index