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Kirlik: Adaptive Perspectives on Human-Technology Interaction

An emerging trend in cognitive science and psychology is to investigate cognition as constrained adaptation to the environment, and today, adaptation often means working with or through technology. With this in mind, Adaptive Perspectives on Human-Technology Interaction presents detailed investigations of adaptive cognition in human-technology interaction. The contributors draw heavily on the biologically inspired, adaptionist theory and method of Egon Brunswik, a pioneer in ecological and cognitive psychology. Many contributors also relate their studies and techniques not only to Brunswik"s probabilistic functionalism and lens model, but also to more recent theories of adaptive cognition, such as Gerd Gigerenzer"s ecological rationality, Kenneth Hammond"s social judgment theory, and John Anderson"s rational analysis.

Motivated by Brunswik"s view of cognition as coming to terms with the causal texture of an uncertain world, the contributors present experimental methods and quantitative and computational models for addressing theoretical and practical problems in human-technology interaction. The methods and models are illustrated in a clear, tutorial fashion based on empirical studies in high fidelity simulations of actual work contexts or field settings, consistent with Brunswik"s view that preserving the integrity of ecological variables and their relations is necessary to ensure the robustness and generalizability of scientific research. Most chapters also provide insights for supporting cognition and performance through design or training. The book is divided into sections devoted to technological interfaces, automation and decision aiding, field studies, extensions of Brunswik"s lens model approach, and computational models illustrating promising integrations of ecological and cognitive theory. A final section presents reflections by prominent scholars in decision making and human factors. Adaptive Perspectives on Human-Technology Interaction makes a timely and important contribution to the literature in the rapidly growing area of human-technology interaction, and should be of interest to researchers, students, and practitioners in cognitive engineering, human-computer interaction, human factors, judgment and decision making, and cognitive science.

Alex Kirlik teaches Human Factors, Industrial Engineering, and Psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he is also a member of the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology.

"Interactive technology needs predictive, practical theoretical models of the user, but cognitive psychology's woefully inadequate treatment of the environment has, in turn, not allowed adequate treatment of the mind-environment mutual co-adaptation on which systems depend. In response, researchers of human machine systems have been forced to develop alternative approaches: cognitive engineering, ecological psychology, distributed cognition, rational analysis, natural decision making, and bounded rationality. In this book, Alex Kirlik has had the absolutely inspired notion of assembling these approaches within the unifying framework of Brunswikian psychology. Not only does Brunswik's analysis provide a coherent way to think about the problems of perception, mind, environment, and adaptation, but in a sense, Brunswik gets the last theoretical laugh in one of psychology's oldest arguments. The book is an indispensable guide to an emerging theoretical consensus on embedded human-machine systems."
"Stuart Card, Senior Research Fellow, Xerox PARC

"Cognitive Engineering is an eclectic discipline. The books on this subject typically focus on a common method, a common application domain, or a common collection of tools. In contrast, Kirlik has put together a book focused on a theoretical framework, that of Egon Brunswik, that has had a long history in psychology. The book is a tour de force that demonstrates the broad applicability of the Brunswikian tradition, captures a very wide range of domains, and introduces substantial advances in both theory and methodology. Although I have not been steeped in this tradition, I came away with a deep respect for what it can add to our perspectives and to our armamentarium of research and development tools."
"Richard W. Pew, Principal Scientist, BBN Technologies

"I'm impressed with the quality of authors Kirlik has lined up and the way he has interlaced cognitive engineering theory, particularly the Brunswik Lens and judgment models, with human-system applications in aviation and other automated high-tech systems. In a phrase I would say: First rate authors applying models of human judgment to design of complex automated systems."
"Thomas B. Sheridan, Ford Professor of Engineering and Applied Psychology Emeritus, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

"This is a very fine book that shows how the ideas of Brunswik can be applied to understanding the interface between cognition and technology. Brunswik's seminal ideas have not gotten the recognition they deserve, and this book helps remind us all of just how important they are."
"Robert J. Sternberg, IBM Professor of Psychology and Education, Professor of Management, and Director of the Center for the Psychology of Abilities, Competencies, and, Expertise (PACE Center), Yale University



 
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