An accessible introduction to the principles of computational and mathematical modeling in psychology and cognitive science
This practical and readable work provides students and researchers, who are new to cognitive modeling, with the background and core knowledge they need to interpret published reports, and develop and apply models of their own. The book is structured to help readers understand the logic of individual component techniques and their relationships to each other.
Chapter 1: Introduction
1.1 Models and Theories in Science
Cognitive scientists seek to understand how the mind works. That is, we want to describe and predict people's behavior, and we ultimately wish to explain it, in the same way that physicists predict the motion of an apple that is dislodged from its tree (and can accurately describe its downward path) and explain its trajectory (by appealing to gravity). For example, if you forget someone's name when you are distracted seconds after being introduced to her, we would like to know what cognitive process is responsible for this failure. Was it lack of attention? Forgetting over time? Can we know ahead of time whether or not you will remember that person's name?
The central thesis of this book is that ...