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Keith Holyoak
Distinguished Professor
Primary Area:
Cognitive Psychology
6613 FH
(310) 206-1646
Research and Teaching Interests:

Keith J. Holyoak conducts research in human reasoning, learning, decision making, and problem solving. Much of his work is concerned with the role of analogy in thinking. One of the major themes is the way in which analogy serves as a psychological mechanism for learning and transfer of knowledge. More broadly, Dr. Holyoak conducts research on the nature of the relational knowledge that underlies analogy, causal learning, and deduction. He investigates how relational knowledge is used to reason in domains ranging from law and politics to science. Dr. Holyoak's research combines studies of thinking in normal adults with computational modeling, and with neuropsychological studies of how thinking is impaired in brain-damaged individuals. This work, in collaboration with Barbara Knowlton and others, focuses on the role of the prefrontal cortex in complex human reasoning.

Dr. Holyoak has published over 170 scientific papers, and is co-author or editor of several books, including Induction: Processes of Inference, Learning and Discovery (MIT Press, 1986), Mental Leaps: Analogy in Creative Thought (MIT Press, 1995), The Analogical Mind (MIT Press, 2001), and The Cambridge Handbook of Thinking and Reasoning (Cambridge University Press, 2005). He is currently co-editing The Oxford Handbook of Thinking and Reasoning, to be published in 2012.

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