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Mind-SocietyFrom Brains to Social Sciences and Professions$
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Paul Thagard

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190678722

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190678722.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 28 November 2021

Social Mechanisms

Social Mechanisms

(p.48) 3 Social Mechanisms

Paul Thagard

Oxford University Press

Social mechanisms are systems of parts whose connections enable them to interact in ways that produce regular changes. In the social world, the main parts are individual people, but parts can also be groups formed out of those individuals. The interactions between individuals and groups are primarily verbal and nonverbal communication but can also include purely physical acts such as fighting and the inferences that people make about each other. There are many kinds of verbal communication using speaking and writing, and even more kinds of nonverbal communication by seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, and moving. Interactions between people can occur in pairs or in larger groups where communication links multiple people. Semantic pointers suggest a novel way of understanding communication that accommodates both verbal and nonverbal processes.

Keywords:   communication, emotion spread, groups, interaction, interagent inference, nonverbal communication, individuals, semantic pointer, social mechanisms, verbal communication

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