Human/Digital/Material Hybrids as Consumer Mind Extensions

Authors: Denegri-Knott, J., Jenkins, R. and Molesworth, M.

Conference: Association for Consumer Research

Dates: 1-4 October 2015


In this paper we reflect on and apply the ‘extended mind’ concept (Clark, 2010a; Clark, 2010b; Clark & Chalmers, 1998) to explore how consumers’ ongoing use of internet enabled laptops, tablets and smart phones, potentially extend cognitive capacities and in doing so transforms consumer practices. Similar to Latour's (1993) notion of hybridization, Clark & Chalmers (1998) talk about external entities (objects) and humans as 'coupled systems'. This coupling can create an extended sociocultural cognitive system (see Hutchins, 2001). When successful, reliable coupling between an individual and an external feature occurs they become “part of the basic package of cognitive resources that I bring to bear on the everyday world” (Clark & Chalmers, 1998, p.11). When external components are reduced or removed a de-coupling results in disruption to the practice

Source: Manual

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