Cognition and Epistemology in Social Environment

According to lecture 4, the main concept we have learnt is about cognition and epistemology.

What is Social Cognition?



Cognition is the process which we gain information through perception, memory, attention, thought and learning. After we know the information, we may express and share it through communicating with others by using our own language.

With the help of social environment, the communication can be enhanced. For example, online social media like facebook, Instagram, twitter or snapchat are acted as platforms for human individuals to socialize with other community, or even publicize their own views. Since different users update their status and exchange their thoughts freely through the social platforms, the social cognition can be facilitated and the social network can be expanded.


However, we may be easily influenced by others’ opinion due to Reciprocal Determinism. Our personal belief may be changed for matching the common view of the public. Moreover, there may be wrong message spread out through the social media. Due to the rapid growth of interaction in social network, those misleading information may result in serious consequence or even the problem of cyber harassment.

What is the relationship between Knowledge and Epistemology?

Sometimes, we share our belief which we think to be true. For unjustified information, it is not known as knowledge.

According to Oxford Dictionary, Knowledge is defined as facts, information, and skills acquired through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject.



According to Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Epistemology is the study of justified true belief, which is also defined as “theory of knowledge“. For the justification, the study of epistemology focus on the evidence of knowledge which include its sources, structure and limits. Moreover, the creation of knowlege and the way of propagation should also be concerned.


How can we acquire knowledge in social environment?



We originally learn knowledge by reading artifacts like books and documents. Internet facilitates the generation and distribution of online information artifacts:

One of the examples is Mass collaboration like Wikipedia, LibriVox, SourceForge, or even Youtube etc, which allow large number of individuals to work independently on a single topic of project. Users can effectively collaborate for modification of content. Besides, mass collaboration creates open source of variety of resources, thus enhancing the creation and sharing of the information artifacts.

On the other hands, the massive open online courses (MOOCs) allow online access of academic resources as well as encouraging participation of students and professors. MOOCs are acted as important tools for making knowledge easily reachable which result in a huge and positive impact on education.


Meta Collab, “Mass collaboration",

Massive Open Online Course,

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy,"Epistemology",


























































































































































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