Within the ideal model of pragma-dialectics discussants act rationally and without any time limits. A rhetorical model of argumentation can be derived by including human restrictions. In this practical model (i.e. not ideal model) discussants have to resolve a difference of opinion within limited time, on the basis of incomplete information, in the awareness of their restricted rationality, and by means of a non-perfect language. They try to maximize their long-term success in persuading the audience under the given limitations. Rhetoric provides means for coping with these limitations by way of following a practically applied rationality.
In 1932 Frederic Bartlett laid the foundation for the later Schema Theory. His findings considerably contributed to the understanding of how previous knowledge affects processing of visual stimuli. Empirical proof however is sparse and Bartlett’s results are hardly verifiable. We replicated Bartlett’s methods of ‘serial’ (Experiment 1, N=177) and ‘repeated reproduction’ (Experiment 2, N=53). In both experiments undergraduates inspected particular one of different sketches variing in the degree of faceness. After a delay of a minimum of 15 minutes participants were asked to reproduce their visual imageries. In Experiment 1 we rotated the produced sketches among participants and repeated the procedure five times. In Experiment 2 we asked them to reproduce their visual imageries after minimum weekly delays for five times. In two subsequent studies the participant’s sketches were evaluated in the degree of faceness on a 7-point Likert-scale. In contrast to Bartlett’s findings the sketches did not become more face-like the more often the reproduction process was performed, indicating more complex cognitive processes underlying the schema formation. For Experiment 1 we even obtained reversed effects with less face-likeness after a series of reproduction. Further research should vary influential factors such as creativity, drawing abilities and delays to get further insights into the formation of memory from visual inputs.
Learning is becoming increasingly digital not only in the academic context, but also in the corporate context. Research on how to adapt e-learning courses to the learner´s individual cognitive style is gaining momentum. However, especially in the corporate context, some more basic qustions appear to be still unanswered such as whether differences in cognitive style explain differences in corporate learners´ usage behavior. Based on data including both users and non-users of a globally operating professional service firm, I identify differences in behavior and attempt to explain them with cognitive style theory. The findings include distinct pattern in usage behavior, which cognitive style surprisingly does not explain. Implications for future research and practice are discussed.