FARAVID 31/2007


Olavi K. Fält, Theoretical roots of the study of historic mental images

Mental images are studied in many disciplines. This has resulted in an abundance of theoretical articles that also examine the principles of mental images from the viewpoint of the discipline in question. In my article I consider the basic principles of studying historic mental images and their relationship to the general theoretical field.

The basic ideas of the study of historic mental images were presented already by Walter Lippmann (1922) and Kenneth E. Boulding (1956). In comparing these and the model developed later in the study of historic mental images with the theories of cognitive psychology, a clear similarity can be seen. It can be said that cognitive psychology forms the theoretical foundation of the study of historic mental images. A historic mental image corresponds to a schema in cognitive psychology, which means a commonly held knowledge structure, way of thinking or rule, and broader mental images for their part correspond to mental models mentioned in cognitive psychology. Therefore, the study of historic mental images has a very strong general theoretical base, which has also been successfully applied in several other disciplines.


Faravid 31/2007