Representation (psychology)

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Representations ( mental representations or representations ) are constructs of psychology with the help of which scientists from various disciplines try to describe psychological processes and make them measurable ( operationalized ). The representation of a certain object (including how it works, for example the idea of ​​how a computer works) or process is also called a mental model .

In psychoanalysis , representations are considered to be emotionally charged inner ideas. They contain memory traces of the perception of self and object. But the type of interaction between self and object can also be represented mentally. In addition to the actually experienced interaction, fantasized events or properties associated with the object can also be internalized. In psychoanalysis, the description of the self and object representations, but also the representation of the attachment relationship, serve as an important basis for describing psychological processes. In behavior therapy, self and relationship schema are used largely synonymously .

In the cognitive sciences , the term representation is used to describe and understand information processing in the brain. In object perception , the agreement of some sensory stimuli is compared with stored representations. As experience increases, the mental representations of objects in the outside world become easier. This means that only the sensory stimuli required for perception are used to identify an object. This makes perception more efficient.

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Individual evidence

  1. Thomas Auchter, Laura Viviana Strauss: Small dictionary of psychoanalysis . Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1999, ISBN 978-3-525-01453-0 , p. 177 ( limited preview in Google Book search).
  2. ^ Timo Storck: Psychoanalysis after Sigmund Freud . Kohlhammer Verlag, 2018, ISBN 978-3-17-030876-3 ( [accessed on March 17, 2019]).
  3. Guido Meyer: Concepts of Fear in Psychoanalysis Vol. 2/2: Volume 2: 1950-2000 / 2. Half band . Brandes & Apsel Verlag, 2013, ISBN 978-3-86099-999-8 , pp. 26 ( limited preview in Google Book search).
  4. P. Fonagy, GS Moran, R. Edgcumbe, H. Kennedy, M. Target: The roles of mental representations and mental processes in therapeutic action (1993). Psychoanal Study Child. 48, pp. 9-48
  5. Mongi Metoui: Articulation and “Mind”: Cognition, motor skills and mental representation. Aachen: Shaker, 2005. ISBN 3832244387
  6. Hans-Werner Hunziker: In the eye of the reader: foveal and peripheral perception - from spelling to reading pleasure . Transmedia Stäubli Verlag Zurich 2006 ISBN 978-3-7266-0068-6