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Title:The extended organism: A framework for examining strategic media skill in a digital ecology
Author(s):Hamilton, Kristy Ann
Director of Research:Yao, Mike Z
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Yao, Mike Z
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Wise, Kevin R; Duff, Brittany RL; Benjamin, Aaron S
Department / Program:Inst of Communications Rsch
Discipline:Communications and Media
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):strategic media skill
digital media
human-computer interaction
experimental psychology
Abstract:This dissertation presents an extended organism framework that is directly applicable to the study of strategic media skill. The framework posits that it can be helpful in understanding the human cognizer’s adaptiveness and success of memory in a digital ecology to consider the characteristics of digital memory—the body of rote knowledge and various features of digital technology—as part of the human-technology extended organism, rather than an external environment on which the cognizer acts. It proposes three major subprocesses of strategic media skill: strategic encoding, metacognition, and identifying technological biases. This paper applies the framework to the case of offloading cognition to external devices to demonstrate its applicability. The extended organism framework, as it stands now, provides a conceptual-theoretical lens for predicting and explaining findings about strategic media skill, especially from an effects tradition, and for asking questions about the cognitive processing underlying strategic media skill. Using this perspective and these approaches to empirical investigations, researchers should be able to better understand the successes and failures of memory and cognition in a digital ecology, currently characterized by near-constant access to external information via dynamic and changing digital media devices. The ability to do this will allow media users to know the cognitive consequences associated with different actions and strategies and to make better decisions about when and how to use digital media to accomplish their goals.
Issue Date:2020-07-17
Rights Information:Copyright 2020 Kristy Hamilton
Date Available in IDEALS:2020-10-07
Date Deposited:2020-08

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