The concept of shared knowledge structures is introduced as one way of demonstrating how personal relationships serve as a bridge between collective activity at the level of the social network and cognitive activity at the level of the individual. The field of social cognition has studied how individuals organize information, and social network analysis has studied how information is passed within groups, but both have largely ignored the role that personal relationships play in leading individuals to share the ways they organize and interpret this information. This conceptual framework is applied to two qualitative studies on the production of shared knowledge structures: first, for knowledge about coping with the stresses of recent widowhood, and second, for the organization of knowledge about preventing heart attacks. The results point to the importance of integrating work on social cognition, personal relationships, and social networks.
Research Professor on society, culture, art, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, neuroscience, autopoiesis, self-organization, complexity, systems, networks, rhizomes, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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