Practical Cognitive Research

Practical Cognitive ResearchGlobal Cognition’s research focuses on cognitive skills and mindsets that drive performance in a wide variety of educational, workplace, and life settings. Our thesis is that a constrained, core set of malleable competencies exist that:

In service of this premise, we investigate collections of knowledge and skill elements that form the following competency areas:

  • Critical thinking and decision making
  • Self-directed learning and inquiry
  • Collaboration, communication, culture

One strand of our research is to identify and characterize cognitive skills and mindsets for these areas, along with their interactions. In this vein, we conduct cognitive research to create competence models for precise populations of interest. Our models describe highly relevant, intricate sets of knowledge and skills that drive performance in specific work and school settings. In addition to providing taxonomies of generalizable cognitive skills, the competency models we create have practical value by providing clear, immediate guidance for instructional design and development in professional workplace and educational contexts.

By employing a combination of methods to understand the essential ingredients of competent performance, we pinpoint widely applicable skills and mindsets that promote adaptability and creativity throughout life. Our research addresses fundamental theoretical issues and applied problems in this area using a variety of methods, including:

  • Competency Modeling
  • Cognitive Field Research
  • Web-based Experiments and Surveys
  • Advanced Statistical Analysis
  • Discourse Analysis
  • Automated Text-Analysis
  • Qualitative Interview Methods
  • Cognitive Task Analysis
  • Experimental Design
  • Process Tracing Methods
  • Cognitive Cultural Analysis
  • Cognitive Modeling

Instructional Design
Additionally, we design instruction and develop training, especially web-based educational technology solutions. These efforts are closely tied with our research activities. Our scientific effort in this area is geared towards devising and testing approaches that promote application and transfer of general cognitive skills.

In addition to designing training systems for government clients, our scientists created Thinker Academy, a publicly available website offering interactive, online courses to help teens improve their learning and thinking skills.

We have approached this overall problem area from numerous angles. Browse our portfolio of featured studies for summaries of our research. Or, have a look at our publications to learn more.