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Koen Lamberts

In: Handbook of Cognition

Chapter 18: Mathematical Modelling of Cognition

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Mathematical Modelling of Cognition
Mathematical modelling of cognition

Mathematical models are essential in many scientific disciplines. Physicists, engineers, economists and biologists make extensive use of mathematical and formal techniques to express, develop and test scientific theories. In psychology, mathematical models have a long tradition too. From the earliest days of experimental psychology, theorists have attempted to construct formal models that capture the regularities of behaviour and cognition (see Luce, Bush, & Galanter, 1963, 1965).

There are many reasons why mathematical models can be superior to other kinds of models (such as informal verbal theories). First, mathematical models must be precise and consistent. A mathematical or computational model that contains elements that are ill-defined or that contradict each other will simply not work. Second, this definitional and conceptual ...

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