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Glossary » cognitive modeling

cognitive modeling

producing a computational model for how people perform tasks and solve problems, based on psychological principles. These models may be outlines of tasks written on paper or computer programs which enable us to predict the time it takes for people to perform tasks, the kinds of errors they make, the decisions they make, or what buttons and menu items they choose.

Such models can be used in several ways: to determine ways of improving the user interface so that a person’s task has fewer errors or takes less time, to build into the user interface to make software that reacts more effectively to help people use the system by anticipating their behavior or inferring their mental state (an artificial intelligence approach that may be used, for instance, in educational software, to provided the best customized instruction), or as a means of testing current psychological theory.

Major modeling approaches include GOMS, ACT-R, Epic, and Soar.