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Social–ecological systems (SES) research underlines the tremendous impact of human behaviour on planet Earth. To enable a sustainable course of humanity, the integration of human cognition in SES research is crucial for better understanding the processes leading to and involved in human behaviour. However, this integration is proving a challenge, not only in terms of diverging ontological and epistemological perspectives, but also—and this has received little attention in SES research—in terms of (lacking) precision of communication regarding cognition. SES scholars often implicitly disagree on the meaning of this broad concept due to unexpressed underlying assumptions and perspectives. This paper raises awareness for the need to communicate clearly and mindfully about human cognition by exemplifying common communication pitfalls and ways of preventing them. We focus on the concept of cognition itself and provide aspects of cognition that need to be communicated explicitly, i.e. different objects of investigation and levels of description. Lastly, we illustrate means of overcoming communication pitfalls by the example of rationality.
Research news | 2020-02-17
Trying to reach the goals under current business-as-usual will come at a heavy price on the planetary boundaries
Research news | 2020-02-14
The new "Our Future On Earth" report provides risks analysis based on survey of 222 global sustainability experts, including centre researchers
Research news | 2020-02-13
New assessment aims to fill critical gaps in understanding the growing role aquatic foods play in the global food system
Research news | 2020-02-09
A new study harmonizes the water planetary boundary with local boundaries for the La Cienega wetlands in Colombia
Research news | 2020-02-05
Offers insights into successful governance in a rapidly changing world
Research news | 2020-02-03
Limited data and statistics on food availability in Ghana and Burkina Faso still produced insights that could boost sustainable resource management