Cognitive Modeling

Authored by: Eric Chown

Computing Handbook

Print publication date:  May  2014
Online publication date:  May  2014

Print ISBN: 9781439898529
eBook ISBN: 9781439898536
Adobe ISBN:


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An important goal of cognitive science is to understand human cognition. Good models of cognition can be predictive—describing how people are likely to react in different scenarios—as well as prescriptive— describing limitations in cognition and potential ways in which the limitations might be overcome. In a sense, the benefits of having cognitive models are similar to the benefits individuals accrue in building their own internal model. To quote Craik (1943):

If the organism carries a “small-scale model” of external reality and of its own possible actions within its head, it is able to try out various alternatives, conclude which is the best of them, react to future situations before they arise, utilize the knowledge of past events in dealing with the present and future, and in every way to react in a much fuller, safer, and more competent manner to the emergencies which face it. (p. 61)

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