PPIG 2008 - 20th Annual Workshop
Thinking about Thinking in Objects: Methods, Findings and Implications from a Psychological Perspective
Chris Exton
Abstract: Many Object Oriented (OO) developers argue that the concept of objects is so primal or innate to our thought processes and understanding of the world that it is a fundamental element in nearly every aspect of thought, and as such the OO paradigm is the most suitable approach to software development. This paper considers a number of questions from the psychological perspective, relating to how, when and why we think in objects. It attempts to do this by describing how psychologists' understanding and representation of when we perceive objects and their properties has been studied and interpreted at the earliest stages of human development. In doing this it highlights some different perspectives and related methods which have been used by the field of psychology when interpreting the results. We consider why we might think in objects from the evolutionary perspective and what evidence might exist that may increase our understanding. In conclusion we consider how these various perspectives and studies might be utilised in our understanding of programming comprehension.