Current Projects

Cognition in social interaction – Toward a Mechanistic Integration of the Cognitive and Social Sciences

This research project focuses on the changing relations between the cognitive and social sciences. We are especially interested in new opportunities for interdisciplinary encounters between cognitive and social scientists that are related to the recent turn in the cognitive sciences toward a more interactive, co-operative and cultural account of human cognition. We conduct case studies of research programs at the interface of the cognitive and social sciences relating to social coordination, collaborative remembering and agent-based modelling. Our theoretical framework draws on mechanistic philosophy of science and we aim to adjust the notion of mechanistic interfield integration to the relations between the cognitive and social sciences.

Through our case studies, we aim to answer the following questions: Do the abovementioned research programs produce knowledge that can be brought together to deepen our understanding of cognitive and social phenomena? Is it possible to resolve conceptual discrepancies between their theories and models? Do their methods complement (rather than compete with) each other? Is it possible to amalgamate evidence that these research programs have produced by using different methods?

Our research project will increase our understanding of emerging research fields at the intersection of the cognitive and social sciences by identifying, clarifying and resolving conceptual and methodological issues that arise within and between research programs studying social coordination, collaborative remembering and agent-based modeling of human cognition in social interaction. The mechanistic framework of interfield integration combined with the method of agent-based modeling will also promote the cross-disciplinary fertilization and methodological renewal of the cognitive and social sciences.

Date: 1.8.2021-

PI: Tuukka Kaidesoja

Researchers: Ronny Puustinen and Matti Sarkia

Funding: The Kone Foundation / Koneen säätiö


Former Projects

Cognitive social sciences – What, why and how?

This research project addresses opportunities and challenges relating to attempts to integrate cognitive scientific knowledge into the social sciences (and vice versa). All social interaction between humans involves cognitive processes, such as perception, classification, remembering, reasoning, learning, and problem solving. In many social scientific research fields, however, assumptions about cognition are based on folk psychological ideas about the human mind rather than empirical research on human cognition. This situation is changing with the emergence of new research programs that aim to integrate insights from the cognitive to the social sciences in order to provide better understanding of social phenomena.

Our research project maps, analyzes and advances on-going discussions about the integration of the cognitive sciences and the social sciences. It consists of three strands that answer the following questions: What are the cognitive social sciences and what kinds of interdisciplinary interactions do they involve? Why should (or should not) the social sciences be integrated with the cognitive sciences? How can we resolve conceptual, methodological, and institutional problems that arise in the cognitive social sciences?

Our theoretical and methodological approach combines the frameworks of contemporary mechanistic philosophy of science and empirical science studies, which enable us to analyze the relation between cognitive sciences and social sciences in a conceptually accurate and empirically informed way. Our research materials consist of empirical and theoretical studies in the cognitive social sciences and data acquired through bibliometric analyzes, interviews, and case studies.

Our project will provide new knowledge of the cognitive social sciences and their research practices, focusing on the opportunities and possible pitfalls associated with the integration of the social and cognitive sciences. In addition, we will develop a theoretical framework based on mechanistic philosophy of science for analyzing interdisciplinary relations. We also assess the methodological tools that are deemed most appropriate for integrating the social and cognitive sciences in a non-reductionist manner.

Date: 1.1.2019-31.10.2022

PI: Tuukka Kaidesoja

Researchers: Mikko Hyyryläinen and Matti Sarkia

Funding: The Emil Aaltonen Foundation / Emil Aaltosen säätiö