The Relevance of Developmental Psychology for Information Visualization: Information, Knowledge, Meaning, and the Case of Infant Pointing
29th October 2014, 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Digiteo Moulon building (660), Conference room (entrance) (Access behind the PCRI building. How to get there ?)
One way to characterize information visualization is as the development of tools that enable the presentation of information in ways that facilitate thinking through reflection on patterns. Therefore, the construction of such tools for thinking is based, either implicitly or explicitly, on an account of human thinking, and such assumptions should be critically examined. I will discuss two families of theories, first critiquing the information processing model, and then suggesting as an alternative the action-based, constructivist, socio-cultural approach. These two views of human thinking are associated with views of knowledge and meaning. I will critically evaluate the “representational theory of knowledge” and suggest, as an alternative, a constructivist view of knowledge. I will then focus on meaning and critique a view of meaning as linked to representations. Instead I will argue for a view of meaning as based on a history of shared social routines, using research on the development of infants’ skills with pointing gestures in order to illustrate this view of meaning. Finally, I will suggest possible implications for information visualization and the notion of visual literacy.
Jeremy I. M. Carpendale, Professor of Developmental Psychology at Simon Fraser University, has published in the areas of cognitive, social cognitive and moral development. His work focuses on the nature and development of thinking about social and moral matters and the role of language and social interaction in such development. He is author with Charlie Lewis of "How Children Develop Social Understanding" (2006, Blackwell), and co-editor of several books including the Cambridge Companion to Piaget.