Category Archives: Week 8

The Distributed Cognition of R^2 (Becky and Rebecca)

Humans use tools and technologies, no matter how primitive, to facilitate and increase their cognitive brain function. This capability is particularly important because the process of storing and recalling information in our memories, either long-term or short-term, can at times be problematic. For example, the case of Otto demonstrates someone whose memory does not allow him to properly retain information, and thus he relies on his notebook to function as his memory (Clark and Chalmers).

Microsoft’s OneNote offers another example of how technology can potentially extend cognition in this way. The fundamental behavior of taking notes with this software, which Rebecca and Becky both use, represents a number of different symbolic and cognitive-offloading processes.

Before we can take notes, we have to process the information presented in whatever lecture we’re attending. The professor communicates information to us—by using, say, the English language or images in a PowerPoint. We have to translate the information communicated into another sign system—that of the written English language. This requires knowledge of the English alphabet, grammar, lexicon, context, and so on. When taking these notes, we might draw some tentative conclusions of our own, creating new meanings by making connections between the ideas presented.

We write these ideas down using an artifact that is a token of a type—a particular instance of a program installed on our laptops, which are made up of a number of different technologies, from the keyboard to the graphics card to the RAM. We previously learned the association between the purple N icon and the OneNote software. Even though the icon is only tangentially related to the process of note-taking because it includes stylized lined paper (see image), we still know from conventional use that clicking the icon will open the software we need. Of course, this entire process functions on our understanding of the various sign systems involved, such as the English language and the keyboard interface.



These artifacts help us offload our cognitive burden in a number of ways. We are in effect storing our memories in these digital files. If we didn’t have these tools, each of us would have to store all of the information in our mind, based on the constraints of time and the sequence in which the ideas were presented. But thanks to these artifacts, we don’t have to mentally store and recall as much. We can instead store these lecture memories externally and access them whenever we want to by opening OneNote and drawing on our symbolic talents to read the material. This facilitates new and abstract thought, freeing up our brains to use those ideas in more complex ways than simple recall, such as to solve problems.

This file can also be used to distribute cognition and communicate with others. We can email the notes to another person who can read them and learn from them. That person will need the proper tools—a computer and the software, for example—to access that information. And only a person with the proper contextual knowledge will be able to understand the full meaning. The note-reader has to be part of the English-speaking community, for example. Additionally, the notes may, for instance, make shorthand references to earlier content, so the note-reader must understand that material already covered in the class.

But is this process truly cognition? Can the mind actually be extended to external technologies? As discussed in “Cognitive Offloading,” terms such as the “extended mind” and “distributed cognition” are somewhat misleading (Dror, and Harnad). In some ways, it seems contradictory to most of what we’ve learned thus far to suggest that the act of cognition occurs outside of the brain. Depending on the nature of the sign, whether icon, index, or symbol, there may be no apparent connection between the sign and its object. According to Dror et al, it seems like a cognizer is needed to make that connection—to perform the cognitive exercise of interpretation and understanding.

External artifacts, individuals, and so on can both trigger and impact acts of cognition. But the ultimate source of interpretation appears to be someone who can participate in generative, recursive, and at times unpredictable processes of thinking and creating meaning.

The “extended mind” theory seems to be a nuanced explanation of how cultural associations are stored, recalled, and utilized, whether through technology or human organisms. In this sense, what are the main distinctions between this theory and something like cultural progress?


Works Referenced

Clark, Andy. Supersizing the Mind: Embodiment, Action, and Cognitive Extension (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, USA, 2008).

Clark, Andy, and David Chalmers. “The Extended Mind.” Analysis 58, no. 1 (January 1, 1998): 7–19.

Dror, Itiel E., and Stevan Harnad. “Offloading Cognition Onto Cognitive Technology.” In Cognition Distributed: How Cognitive Technology Extends Our Minds, edited by Itiel E. Dror and Stevan Harnad, 1–23. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing, 2008.

Thinking Out of the Boxcar (Alex + Ojas)

We decided to analyze this week’s readings through the lens of automotive technology. Navigation, commute, and travel are  fundamental processes both for people and society, and the cognitive tasks we employ while operating vehicles serve critical roles.

Anyone who has ridden a bicycle or driven a car can attest to the fact that at some point, the operation of a vehicle becomes second nature. You stop consciously thinking about depressing the pedal or turning the handlebar, and the individual movements and actions, whether accelerating, braking, or turning, become autonomous. To use Clark’s parlance, a person and vehicle become a “coupled system” (Clark and Chalmers 8). You will often hear motorcycle and bicycle riders refer to being in “the zone”, a state in which they and their bike become one. The vehicle becomes an extension of your mind. The cognitive process of moving forward on a bicycle effectively makes the vehicle a part of the cognitive process, which reinforces this process as “extended mind.”
A vehicle’s active externalism is exemplified by this video:

In this video, Destin makes a distinction between knowledge and understanding and applies it to the backward brain bicycle. What happens if we engineer a bicycle’s handlebars to inversely change direction, or if turning right on the handlebars leads to turning left? Conceptually, it’s a simple idea and the ease with which we ride a normal bike might lead us to assume it to be easy to ride a backward brain bicycle. As the video shows, the knowledge of how the bike works doesn’t necessarily lead to the understanding required to operate it. This highlights how the handlebars’ design in a normal bike is important to our own cognitive processes of balance and steering. When the functionality of that is altered, the cognitive process of riding a bike is disrupted.

According to Jiajie Zhang and Vimla Patel, distributed  cognition refers to “cognitive systems whose structures and processes are distributed between internal minds and external environment, across a group of individual minds, and across space and time” (340). We discussed how we can fit their arguments regarding affordances, and the interplay of internal and external representations, to vehicular travel by thinking about it in terms of traffic flows and lane changing. Lanes of traffic are demarcated by lines painted on the road, and it is punishable by law to violate this order. For roads with high traffic, there may be multiple lanes going back and forth. The way vehicles organize themselves in multiple lanes is by speed – keep right except to pass. This results in lane changes while driving to reorganize to maximize the efficiency of this traffic flow system. To safely change lanes, a driver goes through several cognitive processes, demonstrated by the following diagram:

Zhong, et al

The speed of vehicles in front of you, speed limit signs, and the location of vehicles in the next lane are all external factors, which together with the internal representations of law and rushing create the affordances that allow for lane changing. The process is further facilitated by turn signals, which correlates to the distributed meaning of lane changes because of how it may influence drivers around the vehicle changing lanes, whether the driver slows down and allows for the lane change, speeds up to pass the car and make room, or simply recognizes the desire for a lane change.

We want to conclude our post by talking about some of the processes that have been offloaded to technology. One perfect example is the popularity of vehicles that have a GPS installed into the center console. By integrating a GPS into the vehicle, the cognitive task of navigation and memorizing directions is offloaded. The flows of traffic are offloaded to streetlights. We don’t have to get out of our cars and communicate at popular intersections. When a left signal turns green, I trust the signal facing oncoming traffic is red. The heavy yielding traffic during rush hour on the beltway is managed by intermittent red/green light signals. Anti-lock brakes allow for the driver to more efficiently consider space, road conditions, and timing when stopping a vehicle, instead of pumping brakes. And automatic gear shifting frees up our left foot and right hand. Accelerating to the flow of traffic is so easy when we don’t have to worry about manually shifting gears, and it frees up our hand to fiddle with the music volume and sip on coffee.


Clark, Andy and David Chalmers. “The Extended Mind.” Analysis 58, no. 1 (January 1, 1998): 7–19.

Destinws2. “The Backwards Brain Bicycle – Smarter Every Day 133.”YouTube. YouTube, 24 Apr. 2015. Web. 19 Oct. 2016.

Dror, Itiel D. and Stevan Harnad. “Offloading Cognition Onto Cognitive Technology.” In Cognition Distributed: How Cognitive Technology Extends Our Minds, edited by Itiel E. Dror and Stevan Harnad, 1-23. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing, 2008.

-Zhang, Jiajie and Vimla L. Patel. “Distributed Cognition, Representation, and Affordance.” Pragmatics & Cognition 14, no. 2 (July 2006): 333-341.

Zhong, Yaofeng, Yunyi Zhang and Xiao Zhao.”Keep Right To Keep “Right.” UMAP Journal 35.2/3 (2014): 111-137. OmniFile Full Text Mega (H.W. Wilson). Web. 19 Oct. 2016

Distributed Cognition of Luopan, a Feng Shui Compass (Jieshu & Roxy)

Luopan, also called as a Feng Shui compass, is a traditional Chinese compass used for finding the best facing direction in architecture design, for people both living and dead. Feng and Shui, in Chinese, mean wind and water respectively. Feng Shui is “a Chinese philosophical system of harmonizing people with the surrounding environment”, also a symbol system that transforms meanings of direction. The Feng Shui practice involves architecture design, fortune-telling, and even weather forecast in metaphoric terms of “Qi”, the invisible forces that bind the universe, earth, and humanity together. If you have watched Kung Fu Panda 3, you may hear of this term. In the practice of determining the best places and directions of architectures and tombs, Luopan is the inevitable tool because, in Chinese traditional culture, different directions have different meanings. If the tombstone of your ancestor faces a good direction, it is believed that you will have a lucky life.

Luopan looks like a compass, but with many other marks on the concentric circles, besides the four basic directions. It is used to determine the precise direction by a Feng Shui practitioner.



Three levels of distributed cognition of Luopan

Here, the representational practice we’d like to talk about is using Luopan to determine the best direction of architectures. In this case, the cognitive processes were distributed in three ways.

First of all, the cognitive process is distributed across the members of a social group.

  • An individual mind can implement in a group of individuals. At the beginning, some philosopher proposed an idea that Qi is the only thing left after people’s death. The best status of Qi is in a dynamically recycle motion. Wind may disperse the Qi, and water may stop the Qi. The arrangement of the wind and water is the key of sustaining the best status of Qi. This idea was popular in an era when people were unable to tell the mystery of life and nature. So the most respected people, like ancient emperors, preferred that they can still bless their people and descendants after their death. They, then, turn to count on the positions of tombs when they were still alive. This idea became popular in ancient China, forming a special culture, although it’s not scientific.
  • This group cognitive task also influences every individual in this community. All Chinese people know about Feng Shui. Moreover, nowadays, although only a few people claim they believe in Feng Shui, but many of us are familiar with this technique and may check the direction of doors and beds before we move into a new house.

Second, cognitive processes may involve coordination between internal and external structure. In this case, the minds of Feng Shui practitioners are not “passive representational engines” that replicate the external world. On the contrary, they would use the information gathered from the environment to perform some complicated cognitive task. For example, in designing tombs, they could use the direction indicated by Luopan, the landform of the potential tomb sites, the birthday of the dead, and some complicated rules and equations to calculate the best tomb site and the best facing direction of the tombstone. With Luopan, they could find the best way to coordinate the behaviors of Qi, keeping it in the best status. The interaction with Luopan coordinates the relationship between environment and people’s inner status. It is like the blind’s walking stick, the biologist’s microscope, and astronomer’s telescope.

Third, the cognitive processes of Luopan are also distributed through time. Over time, the practice of Feng Shui and the usage of Luopan become a part of Chinese culture. According to Hutchins, on the one hand, culture emerges from the activities in the history. Luopan has a very long history, originated from the earliest magnetic compass thousands of years ago.The culture of Luopan is formed and strengthened in the countless activities of using Luopan to determine lucky directions from ancient to present. On the other hand, the culture of Luopan also serves as a historical context for the future practice of Luopan. Chinese people see the culture of Luopan as a “reservoir of resources” for problem-solving and reasoning that in return shapes the cognitive processes whose practice “transcends the boundaries of individuals”.

For example, I (Jieshu) have a friend who was eager to find a boyfriend. She asked a Feng Shui practitioner to use a Luopan to calculate where her future husband was, and she was told that the lucky direction was the southeast. She literally saw Luopan as a way to solve her problem, and deliberately began to date boys from the southeast. Last week, she told me she established a relationship with a man from Taiwan. This practice of Luopan finally transcends the boundary of her individual self.

During the history of Feng Shui, transformation is constantly happening, as the development of people’s knowledge about nature. More and more people recognize that nature and people’s destiny are not governed by some mysterious energy called Qi. However, nowadays, some people claim that Feng Shui can be explained by modern science. For example, according to Feng Shui, the door of a house should not be opened to the north direction, otherwise, your family will easily get sick. According to proponents of Feng Shui, this principle could be explained by the fact that in winter, cold wind from Siberia blows across the most area of China. If your door is to the north, you will easily get cold. This is an example of the transformation of the culture of Luopan over time, as well as a demonstration of distributed cognition across time.

We also have Luopan app, right now, which can work on your smartphone. But the compass in a smartphone does not depend on the magnetic needle. Instead, there are thin films. Thanks to the Quantum Hall Effect and Magnetoresistance Effect, these thin films can sense the direction of the geomagnetic field and then can translate this sense into the electrical signal which can be read by your smartphone. This information can be showed in numbers and words. But they still use the graph of Luopan and the pointer just as the one in a real Luopan. Why? The reason is as same as the airspeed indicator on plane mentioned in the Distributed Cognition. When people get used to the overt version of indicator, another different form of display may disturb the practitioners’ cognition embodied in the history of Luopan.

Luopan has intersubjectively accessible meanings

As an individual in this community, I (Roxy) share the same value of Feng Shui with other people under this influence. There are two levels.

  • From the royal level, at the beginning, the first emperor decided that he needed Feng Shui practitioners to determine the best place for him to be buried. The emperors after him wanted to get better and fancier places for them to be buried. This idea transformed from a personal idea to an intersubjective common ground.
  • From the folk level. For example, when Xiao Ming, an average person believes in Feng Shui, he will find a Feng Shui practitioner to help him determine the position and direction of the tomb of his deceased father. His idea is transmitted to and interpreted by the Feng Shui practitioner. The Feng Shui practitioner determines the position and tells Xiao Ming the result. This idea is then shared by these two people. After Xiao Ming put this idea into practice, more and more people know it and start to believe in it. Gradually, the usage of Luopan becomes commonly accepted in his community.

In this way, the symbol system of Feng Shui is distributed, and the cognitive task is offload onto Luopan.


[1] Luopan. (2016, October 14). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 18:27, October 14, 2016, from

[2] Feng shui. (2016, October 16). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 02:44, October 16, 2016, from

[3] James Hollan, Edwin Hutchins, and David Kirsh. “Distributed Cognition: Toward a New Foundation for Human-computer Interaction Research.” ACM Transactions, Computer-Human Interaction 7, no. 2 (June 2000): 174-196.

[4] Jiajie Zhang and Vimla L. Patel. “Distributed Cognition, Representation, and Affordance.” Pragmatics & Cognition 14, no. 2 (July 2006): 333-341.

Google Docs: A Meeting of the Minds – Katie & Amanda

We’re focusing on Google Docs, an online word processor that allows people to create text documents and collaborate with other users in real time. As long as a user can access the internet and has an email account, he or she can access Google Docs.

In our example, we have chosen the option of a blank document. We’ve gotten a little meta, creating this blog post about Google docs by collaborating over our very own Google doc.

Any number of users may work on the same document at any point in time, and the document can be shared with others. In reference to this week’s readings, this could be interpreted through the lenses of both the reductionist and the interactionist views of distributed cognition (Zhang & Patel, 335). Zhang and Patel explain that while a group of minds can be better than just one, because there are so many resources in a group, more errors must be cross-checked, tasks must be distributed, etc.

The construction of a Google Doc:

Many of the icons found in the document are similar in appearance to a document that one might find in the Microsoft Word or Pages applications on a Mac or PC. With options like “File,” “Edit” and “Tools,” it feels like the space where we normally come to write and format a document. But despite this familiarity, these options have been placed on a new, interactive platform.

Screen Shot 2016-10-19 at 12.56.49 PM

Google Docs serve as a space where minds can meet and share information – we not only extend our ability to type (coherent) ideas, but we distribute that burden among more than one individual. This could be related to the idea of culture and cognition – our mental, material (computers), and social structures work together in a historical context (time) to create a google document, or an artifact (Hollan et al., 178).

This product is automatically saved on the Cloud, making Google Docs a virtual storage space for knowledge that exists into perpetuity. They could be a version of what Dror et al. refer to as a “Cognitive Commons” (1). This space allows people who are physically dispersed to interact with a sense of immediacy that is unlike anything created in Microsoft Word (Dror et al., 1). It almost seems like instant messaging, but the goal is to produce a joint piece of work. This distributes the cognitive load of typing, brainstorming, and editing, from one person to multiple people.

Plus, it highlights the social nature of group work and collaboration. In a Google Doc, cognitive processes are naturally distributed across participants (Hollan et al., 177).

Users can participate in a conversation in a few ways, assuming that they understand how a Google Doc works. There’s a chat function, represented by a symbol, where members of a Google Doc can write messages to each other. This function can be accessed by clicking on the text box.

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We understand the text box, or word bubble, to exist with thoughts/ideas inside of it. It’s how we understand what others are thinking and/or saying when we see it pictured over their head.  

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Google Docs also influence how we think about virtual identity. A “voice” on this Google Doc is a user’s ability to put his or her cursor somewhere on the screen and start typing freely (at the same time as another user). The cursor represents a voice.

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A user can only use his or her “voice” when he or she is “in” the Google Doc. And, the name of a specific user corresponds with the color of his or her cursor (in this case, it’s pink), which further connects the individual to the words he or she types.

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This space is also one where access has to be granted – users can “share” the document with others and restrict their access. Participants can either edit, comment or only view the words on the screen. It’s created by the users, making it a consciously constructed place where we can offload not only the individual process of writing (by typing), but other group-related processes like editing and brainstorming.

Screen Shot 2016-10-19 at 8.56.29 PM

The real-time aspect of Google Docs changes the way that people work and input/output cognitive data; you could have users on three different continents, in three different time zones, and all three could still effectively collaborate on a document at the same time. In this way, Google Docs facilitate distributed cognition.


Andy Clark and David Chalmers. “The Extended Mind.” Analysis 58, no. 1 (January 1, 1998): 7–19.

Andy Clark, Supersizing the Mind: Embodiment, Action, and Cognitive Extension (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, USA, 2008).

Itiel E. Dror and Stevan Harnad. “Offloading Cognition Onto Cognitive Technology.” In Cognition Distributed: How Cognitive Technology Extends Our Minds, edited by Itiel E. Dror and Stevan Harnad, 1-23. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing, 2008.

James Hollan, Edwin Hutchins, and David Kirsh. “Distributed Cognition: Toward a New Foundation for Human-Computer Interaction Research.” ACM Transactions, Computer-Human Interaction 7, no. 2 (June 2000): 174-196.

Jiajie Zhang and Vimla L. Patel. “Distributed Cognition, Representation, and Affordance.” Pragmatics & Cognition 14, no. 2 (July 2006): 333-341.

Ticket to Ride…the cognitive express! (Joe and Jameson)

51 years ago four young,intrepid, mop-headed boys went into a recording studio and played “Ticket to Ride.” To be able to perform this track they had to first write it, a process in which they came together and each extended their creative, musical ideas into song form. Each of them had distinct cognitive abilities and talents, which, when brought together in the group, interacted in order to develop the song as we know it. John Lennon’s songbook functions in the same way Otto’s notebook does. He could probably play the song from memory, but having musical notes written out and standardized enabled there to be future reproductions. Anyone with the skills (linguistic competency) to read the notes and play the music could look at the notes and play the song, but no reproduction would ever sound the same. Of course, most people want to hear it from the source, and recording allows the extension of the performance into the future an infinite amount of times. In effect, listening to the recording allows you to time travel to Abbey Road studios and meet The Beatles.

The music itself conforms to the structure we think of in a pop song in terms of duration, instrumentation, key signature, tempo, chord progression, etc. They took the signifiers we know to be pop music from a long history of other intersubjective accessible meanings and generates a new iteration of it. We recognize “Ticket to Ride” as its own distinct, identifiable song, but understand it within the context of pop music forms. This allows their musical ideas, brought together in the form of a song, to be distributed in a cultural language that fans of the form will understand.

Today you would not be able to experience the Beatles music through the original lineup performing it to you. We rely on reproductions, whether that be other musicians re-interpreting it, or recordings on vinyl, cassette, digital, etc. In active externalism your environment drives your cognitive processes. If we wanted to go and purchase a Beatles album, we would go to a record store but we are limited by what they sell. If we go to a digital store, we can buy any Beatles album (assuming they have the rights). The digital musical library offloads these physical recordings into the digital sphere. In other words, a press of a record and an mp3 have the same affordance, they play the same tune, but how we interact with them as external cognitive artifacts are completely different. To play the Beatles on a vinyl record is to be limited to how they sequenced their music, hitting shuffle in a library we can listen to their entire archive instantaneously.

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This whole process began with social cognition—one of us hummed “Ticket to Ride,” and, because of our shared repertoire of sign and symbol systems, the other could recognize it, even though it was a recreation of one distinct melody. As far as the lyrics go, we assumed the meaning of the song to be literally about a train ticket, but apparently Lennon and McCartney can’t even agree on the meaning.

Music Records as Distributed Cognition – Carson and Lauren

Music Records as Distributed Cognition


Our case study looking into music on records has many layers of distributed cognition and is a great example of the extended mind. Early on in the making process, we have the artist and their relationship to the instrument. Already we have an extended mind in which the human organism is linked with the external entity. As we know, there is no such thing as thought which is then suddenly put into a communication form. Rather, there is an artist who has listened and heard many other musical experiences before.

They are a member of a cultural system in which music has been created and interpreted by others before them. Because they have experienced this distributed cognition before, they begin with the ideas of other artists first. Then they begin to play the instrument. The sound the instrument makes in the external environment is then interpreted by the artist in relation to their ideas about past music. After judging the music, they alter their relationship to the instrument until they perceive a sound that they like.

Creating Record:

This whole experience is done through an externalized relationship of the artist with the sensory environment of the past (other music they have heard) and present (the music the instrument is making at the moment). From this point, the artist can then use more cognitive technology to offload the music as they create the music. This is recorded in analogue form onto a record giving even more mobility to the already distributed cognition.


The artist has little to no control over how the consumer will think about their music. The thoughts and emotions the artist put into creating the music are not provided to the consumer.

Actually playing a record:

The first step of this process is record selection. What do you want to listen to? The record selection is usually influenced by someone’s mood. (cognitive process) After the selection, the consumer would start the record player, letting the music play. This is where extended cognition comes in, the consumer’s thoughts and emotions at that time are being influenced directly by their environment. Sometimes, it is what they were expecting, but sometimes the music can trigger thoughts the consumer was not expecting.

What makes this special is that the vinyl spinning around creating music was created by someone else. The artist that created this piece of work is sharing their cognitive thoughts with consumers of that record. – Distributed Cognition.

Venmo’s Affordance (Ruizhong & Yasheng)

TEAM: BEAUTY♡ PRETTY☆ SOCIETY♀ (Ruizhong & Yasheng)

The technology we are analyzing is Venmo.

Venmo allows people to conduct small to medium scale of financial transaction with the experience of social media.

After the user allowing Venmo to access her bank account, the users off-load tasks with the bank to Venmo. This allows users to directly transfer money to another person.

Venmo helps to eliminate the process of using actual money to pay back someone or going to ATM and withdrawing money, it allows direct transaction bypassing time and space constraints.

Think about a scenario where you have to pay someone back, you need to have a quantifier to signify the value you owe that person. That’s the cognitive function of paper bill in the sense that it allows people to easily conduct value transaction with certainty.

However, the reality of using money, or paper bill to be more specific, is that there are a lot of physical constraints, including organize bills, deposit/withdraw them from bank, and having extra change to allow accurate transaction. This system diagram showcases the complicated steps of paying someone back (made by Ruizhong).


Venmo eliminates the physical constraints of paper bill, offloading the tasks of using paper bills, withdrawing money from the bank, and having to talk to person about financial transaction.

We, humans, delegate several processes of value transaction to Venmo, the technology, so that we are free of the labor of financial transaction. This system diagram showcases the simple steps to allow financial transactions (made by Ruizhong).


Venmo functions as an extension of our cognition in value transaction in terms of calculating exact amount without worrying about if that person has the exact change, or the awkwardness of having to remind someone to pay back. Furthermore, Venmo takes advantage of the light-heartiness of social media by taking off a lot of social pressure and anxiety of financial transaction.

The Affordance of Venmo

We decide to use the interface of Venmo as an example to demonstrate the affordance of its interface design.


Andy Clark and David Chalmers. "The Extended Mind." Analysis 58, no. 1 (January 1, 1998): 7–19. 
James Hollan, Edwin Hutchins, and David Kirsh. “Distributed Cognition: Toward a New Foundation for Human-computer Interaction Research.” ACM Transactions, Computer-Human Interaction 7, no. 2 (June 2000): 174-196. 
Jiajie Zhang and Vimla L. Patel. “Distributed Cognition, Representation, and Affordance.” Pragmatics & Cognition 14, no. 2 (July 2006): 333-341.
Itiel E. Dror and Stevan Harnad. "Offloading Cognition Onto Cognitive Technology." In Cognition Distributed: How Cognitive Technology Extends Our Minds, edited by Itiel E. Dror and Stevan Harnad, 1-23. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing, 2008.