The Constructive Mind is an integrative study of the psychologist Frederic Bartlett's (1886-1969) life, work and legacy. Bartlett is most famous for the idea that remembering is constructive and for the concept of schema; for him, 'constructive' meant that human beings are future-oriented and flexibly adaptive to new circumstances. This book shows how his notion of construction is also central to understanding social psychology and cultural dynamics, as well as other psychological processes such as perceiving, imagining and thinking. Wagoner contextualises the development of Bartlett's key ideas in relation to his predecessors and contemporaries. Furthermore, he applies Bartlett's constructive analysis of cultural transmission in order to chart how his ideas were appropriated and transformed by others that followed. As such this book can also be read as a case study in the continuous reconstruction of ideas in science.
Brady Wagoner (PhD, University of Cambridge) is Professor of Psychology at Aalborg University, Denmark. His research focuses on social and cultural psychology, constructive remembering, social change and the development of dynamic methodologies. He was the co-creator of the Sir Frederic Bartlett Internet Archive and is associate editor for the journals Culture and Psychology and Peace and Conflict. He has over eighty publications, including eight books, and has received a number of prestigious professional awards, such as the Sigmund Koch Prize in 2009 and the Gates Cambridge Scholarship in 2005. He is currently editing The Oxford Handbook of Culture and Memory.
Foreword; Acknowledgments; Introduction; 1. The life and work of a Cambridge psychologist; 2. Experiments in psychology; 3. Cultural diffusion and reconstruction; 4. The concept of schema in reconstruction; 5. The social psychology of remembering; 6. Thinking about thinking; Conclusion: from past to future; References; Index.