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Glossary » cognitive psychology

cognitive psychology

a branch of psychology whose focus on phenomena such as learning, memory, perception, and problem-solving lends itself well to applications in human-computer interaction.

Cognitive psychology is often characterized by the common use of experimental research methods and formal mathematical or computational models to account for behavioral data.

Some of the best-known contributions in cognitive psychology to the design of user interfaces are cognitive modeling techniques, such as GOMS, which help predict user behavior based on users’ perception of the interface, their decision-making time, memory constraints, and time to execute actions (e.g. based on Fitts’ Law). These can be used to make predictions of how design decisions will affect user performance with a system.