Notwithstanding the fact that cognitive scientists are supposed to be unified by their view that cognition is information processing, four different definitions of the word ‘information’ are described herein. These are found in the various fields which cognitive science research draws upon. The definitions are not minor modifications of each other; they talk about very different things in very different ways. The same set of events can be described as information processing for four very different reasons, which each identify different aspects of the situation. However, a model is presented which ties these four together and illuminates their important distinctions. The ultimate goal is better understanding and communication between cognitive scientists.

cognitive science, information processing
Department of Cognitive Science
Cognitive Science Technical Report Series
Department of Cognitive Science

Stewart, Terrence C., & Brook, Andrew. (2003). Four Forms of Information. Technical Report 2003-06. Cognitive Science Technical Report Series. Department of Cognitive Science.