Applied Cognitive Science

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Cognitive Science views human cognition as information processing and integrates approaches from cognitive psychology, informatics (e.g., artificial intelligence), neuroscience and anthropology among others. In the field of applied cognitive science this is further connected to human factors and engineering psychology. This course aims to provide a human-centered perspective on the design of (digital) workplaces, software and Internet services. We will start with an overview of the basics of human information processing (perception, thinking & reasoning, memory, learning) and then apply the repertory of cognitive science theory and methods to a range of applications. The focus is on adapting technical systems to the capabilities and limitations of human cognition and anticipating user errors in the design process. The participants will be familiarized with analytic methods (task analysis, cognitive walkthrough, heuristics) as well as observation methods (usability testing in the lab and in the field). Computational modeling of user behavior will be introduced (CTA, GOMS, ACT-R). Participants will learn about applying a cognitive science perspective to areas such as computer-based learning (intelligent tutoring systems), adaptive interfaces (e.g. recommender systems), search engines, design tools. We will also discuss how humans mentally represent and process spatial information with consequences for designing mobile devices, navigations support or public buildings (e.g. airports, hospitals).

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