Handbook of Applied Cognition

Handbook of Applied Cognition

Handbook of Applied Cognition

Handbook of Applied Cognition


Written by a team of leading international researchers under the guidance of Frank Durso, the second edition of the Handbook of Applied Cognition brings together the latest research into this challenging and important field, and is presented across thirty stimulating and accessible chapters. Stewarded by experiences editors from around the globe, the handbook has been fully updated with eleven new chapters covering materials that focus on the topics critical to understanding human mental functions in complex environments. It is an essential single-source reference for researchers, cognitive engineers and applied cognitive psychologists, as well as advanced students in the flourishing field of applied cognition.


It has been over a decade since I received the original proposal from the Society for Applied Research in Memory and Cognition (SARMAC) to put together a handbook that brought together the myriad of work in applied cognition. That first edition appeared in 1999, and we were gratified by the favorable comments we received in the press and personally. Thus, I was happy to take on the second edition when approached by Gillian Leslie of John Wiley & Sons.

The field of applied cognition is different than it was 10 years ago. Some of the changes were anticipated in the first edition. Others are the consequence of the unhappy circumstance in which the world finds itself. For example, there is no doubt that as the initial work matures, topics like security will find their way into a future edition of this handbook. Applied cognitive researchers should also become involved in issues such as the evacuation of cities and the transfer of information between teams and between organizations.

The second edition is substantially different from the first. Some topics that continue to characterize work in applied cognition, such as aviation, eyewitness testimony, and decision making remain, although many of these are written by new authors, who add their perspective to the ones admirably conveyed by contributors to the first edition. Even those chapters from authors reprising their roles are substantially revised and updated. Readers familiar with the first edition will note that some chapters have not reappeared in the second edition making way for areas not covered in the first edition that have made substantial progress. Thus, we were able to add many new chapters covering domains not included in the first volume but which are important arenas of applied cognition, for example, personal information management, sports, media, and false memory to mention a few.

In other respects, the second edition shares much in approach and philosophy with the first. As before, here we leave the lab to understand cognition in the uncontrolled world of interesting people. The focus is on applied work, not applicable work that could, potentially, be applied someday. As before, this edition does not assume that applied cognition necessarily means applied cognitive psychology. In fact, some of the authors are quite clear in eschewing traditional cognitive psychology. For example, cognitive systems engineering will seem quite un-cognitive to a traditional cognitive psychologist. Finally, the current edition attempts to gather a variety of applied work on cognition from a variety of domains and perspectives. Each of these chapters is intended as a broad review of the relevant literature, but perhaps one with more pedagogy than a chapter written exclusively for experts already inculcated in the area. Instead, basic researchers interested in taking a step into an applied domain, and applied researchers interested in undergirding their work with basic research will find value in these pages.

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