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The Agile Mind$
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Wilma Koutstaal

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780195367188

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195367188.001.0001

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Flexibly Using Memory and Categorical Knowledge, Part 2

Flexibly Using Memory and Categorical Knowledge, Part 2

Levels of Control, Representational Specificity, and Thinking

(p.90) 3 Flexibly Using Memory and Categorical Knowledge, Part 2
The Agile Mind

Wilma Koutstaal

Oxford University Press

This chapter is conceptually closely paired with—and comprises a continuation of—Chapter 2. These two chapters share a central connecting theme in that both directly focus on factors that influence our ability to flexibly access memory and concepts or categorical knowledge at differing levels of representational specificity, with consequent effects on mental agility. However, whereas the earlier chapter predominantly emphasized the dimension of levels of specificity, this chapter now turns its attention to some of the important ways in which levels of representational specificity intersect with, and are modulated by, varying levels of control. Both unintentional, often automatic processes that may emerge outside of awareness, and intentional, deliberate, processes aimed at altering our predominant level of specificity in thinking, are considered.

Keywords:   memory, categorization, representational specificity, mental representations, thinking

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