Complex Information Processing: The Impact of Herbert A. Simon

Complex Information Processing: The Impact of Herbert A. Simon

Complex Information Processing: The Impact of Herbert A. Simon

Complex Information Processing: The Impact of Herbert A. Simon

Synopsis

Here, several leading experts in the area of cognitive science summarize their current research programs, tracing Herbert A. Simon's influence on their own work -- and on the field of information processing at large. Topics covered include problem- solving, imagery, reading, writing, memory, expertise, instruction, and learning. Collectively, the chapters reveal a high degree of coherence across the various specialized disciplines within cognition -- a coherence largely attributable to the initial unity in Simon's seminal and pioneering contributions.

Excerpt

More than 40 years ago, Herbert Simon proposed a fundamental challenge to the dominant theories in both economics and psychology. In economics, he proposed a radical departure from the view of humans as completely rational decision makers toward a more realistic view of humans as creatures of limited rationality who use heuristic decision procedures to circumvent limitations of time and memory. For the contributions based on that work, Simon received, in 1978, the Alfred Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. In psychology, he proposed an equally radical departure from the behaviorist "black box" approach that did not allow consideration of internal processes connecting stimuli to responses. Instead, he made these processes--the manipulation of symbolic structures--the focus of psychological investigation. Simon's steadfast commitment to this new focus became one of the driving forces behind the counterrevolution that returned psychology to the study of the mind. For the contributions based on those ideas, he received, in 1969, the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award from the American Psychological Association, and in 1988, the Gold Medal Award for Psychological Science from the American Psychological Foundation. Simon's scientific contributions have been recognized in other areas as well, and his other awards include the A. M. Turing Award (1975) from the Association for Computing Machinery--for the first artificial intelligence program (with Allen Newell), the Distinguished Fellow Award (1976) from the American Economic Association, the Frederick Moser Award (1974) from the American Society of SYSTEM Administration, the James Madison Award (1984) from the American Political Science Society, the John von Neumann Theory Prize (1988) from the Operations Research Society of America and the Institute of Management Science . . .

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