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Mental RepresentationsA dual coding approach$
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Allan Paivio

Print publication date: 1990

Print ISBN-13: 9780195066661

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195066661.001.0001

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Dual Coding Theory

Dual Coding Theory

(p.53) 4 Dual Coding Theory
Mental Representations

Allan Paivio

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses dual coding theory. The theory is presented as a set of assumptions and hypotheses concerning the origins and the structural and functional properties of representational systems, along with examples of the empirical implications of those hypotheses. The theory is based on the general view that cognition consists of the activity of symbolic representational systems that are specialized for dealing with environmental information in a manner that serves functional or adaptive behavioral goals. The structural representations of dual coding theory refer to relatively stable long-term memory information corresponding to perceptually identifiable objects and activities — both verbal and nonverbal. Processing refers to functional activities that engage the two classes of representation, including activation of either by appropriate stimuli (encoding), activation of one by the other (recoding), organization and elaboration of information within each, as well as transformation, manipulation, and retrieval of information from either class.

Keywords:   dual coding theory, representational systems, operationism, mental representations

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