Information Science 2300
Human Information Processing

Fall 2012 (2131)


Instructor: Dr. Stephen Hirtle
Office: 2B01 IS Building 
Office Phone: 412-624-9434
Email: hirtle@pitt.edu
Office Hours: Tues, 2:00pm - 4:00pm, or by appt.
Class Meets: Mon 3:00 PM - 5:50 PM, IS 405
GSA: Cristina Robles, 2B03, cmr93@pitt.edu
Secretary: Mary Stewart, 706 IS Bldg, 412-624-9402
Prerequisite: None; Class is not open to students who have completed an undergraduate course in Cognitive Psychology.

Overview. Through this course you will become familiar with the research and theories in the field of human information processing and develop the tools necessary to evaluate such research. The focus will be on basic research (e.g., how do we encode, store, and process information; what are the limits on each stage of human information processing; what heuristics are used in processing information), rather than on applied questions. However, at several points during the semester, we will examine studies which show connections to the applied questions.

Required Textbook

Email.  All email to the instructor about this class should contain "INFSCI 2300" in the subject line to be read. For example, the subject line might read "INFSCI 2300: Question about memory". Email without this information might be deleted by spam filters or placed in a folder to be read at a later date. Email with the appropriate identifier will usually be read within 48 hours of receipt.

Assignments: Your performance will be evaluated on the basis of two exams and a short research proposal.  Each exam and the research proposal will be given equal weight (1/3) in determining the final course grade. Class attendance and participation in discussion is expected.  There will be several ungraded homework assignments that will prepare you for the exams.

Readings: The class reading list shows the topics and readings to be discussed each week. You need to read the appropriate readings before the class in which they are assigned and to come to the meeting prepared to discuss them thoughtfully. You should be prepared to answer questions that I pose and to contribute ideas, suggestions, and questions of your own.

Research Proposal:  The research proposal should address a specific methodological or theoretical issue that arises during the course or in the reading of related material.  The proposal should be an experimental proposal, such as would be found in a grant proposal, to resolve an issue. The project write-up should be written using APA format for citation and references, described separately. The presentation will count for 10% of the project grade. 

The due date for paper is shown on the reading list.  Late papers will result in a penalty of one full letter grade per week, pro-rated. Thus, an A paper turned in 1-3 days late would be given an A-, 4-6 days late would be given a B+, 7-9 days late would be given a B, and so on. As a result, an incomplete will be given only for extenuating circumstances and might result in a comparable demerit at the discretion of the instructor.  

Plagiarism on the paper may result in a failing grade for the course, so be sure you understand the limitations of using others work and proper methods of citation.  All papers will be checked using Pitt's standard plagiarism software, which compares papers against various on-line sources and previously submitted papers.

Exams: The midterm and final exams will test your ability to integrate material from the course. Exams will cover the material in the textbook, readings and lectures. The exams will be closed-book, in-class exams.  There may be a few ungraded homework assignments that will prepare you for the exams.

Special circumstances.  If you have a disability for which you are or may be requesting an accommodation, you are encouraged to contact both your instructor and the Office of Disability Resources and Sevices, 216 William Pitt Union, (412-648-7890/TTY:412-383-7355) as early as possible in the term. DRS will verify your disability and determine reasonable accomodations for this course.  You should be aware that my office is up a short flight of stairs.  If this problematic, I am happy to arrange a meeting in an accessible location at any time.

Assignments.Your performance will be evaluated on the basis of two exams and a short research proposal.  Each exam and the research proposal will be given equal weight (1/3) in determining the final course grade. Class attendance and participation in discussion is expected.  There may be occasional, ungraded homework assignments that will prepare you for the exams.

Reading List

Tentative Reading List - Subject to Change

 

Aug 27

Week

 

1

Section 1: Acquiring Information

Introduction and History

Medin, et al: Chapter 1

 

Sep 3

No class meeting: Labor Day
 

Sep 10

No class meeting: From GPS and Virtual Globes to Spatial Computing-2020

 

Sep 17

Week

 

2

Perception

Medin, et al: Chapter 3

Rensink, R. A., O'Regan, J. K., & Clark, J. J. (1997). To see or not to see: The need for attention to perceive changes in scenes. Psychological Science, 8, 368-373.

 

Sep 24

Week

 

3

Attention

Medin, et al: Chapter 4
Just, MA, et al. (2001). Interdependence of nonoverlapping cortical systems in dual cognitive tasks. NeuroImage, 14, 417426.
        Strayer, D. L., Drews, F. A., & Crouch, D. J. (2006). A comparison of the cell phone driver and the drunk driver. Human Factors, 48, 381-391.
         
         

 

Oct 1

Week

 

4

Section 2: Memory Processes

Remembering New Information

Medin, et al: Chapter 5

Meilinger, T., M. Knauff and H. H. Bülthoff. (2008). Working memory in wayfinding: a dual task experiment in a virtual city. Cognitive Science 32, 755-770.

 

Tuesday
Oct 9

Week

 

5

Memory Systems

Medin, et al: Chapter 6

Sparrow, B., Liu, J., and Wegner, D.M. (2011). Google Effects on Memory: Cognitive Consequences of Having Information at Our Fingertips. Science, 333, 776-778.

 

Oct 15

Week

 

6

Exam 1

 

Oct 22

Week

 

7

Application: Spatial Knowledge

Medin, et al: Chapter 8

Hirtle, S. C., & Sorrows, M. E. (2007). Navigation in electronic environments. In G. Allen (Ed.), Applied spatial cognition: From research to cognitive technology (pp. 103-126). Mahwah NJ: Erlbaum.

 

 

Oct 29

Week

 

8

Section 3: Higher Cognitive Processess

Problem Solving - Bibliography Due Today (11:59 pm)

Medin, et al: Chapter 12

Agrawala, M., Li, W., & Berthouzoz, F. (2011). Design principles for visual communication. Communications of the ACM, 54(4), 60-69.

 

Nov 5

Week

 

12

Expertise & Creativity

Medin, et al: Chapter 13

Ferrucci, D., et al. (2010). Building Watson: An overview of the DeepQA project. AI Magazine. 31(3), 59-79.

 

Nov 12

Week

 

13

Application: Judgment and Decision Making

Medin, et al: Chapter 14

Tversky, A., & Shafir, E. (1992). The disjunction effect in choice under uncertainty. Psychological Science, 3, 305-309.

 

Nov 19

Week

 

14

Exam 2

 

Nov 26
/ Dec 3

Week

 

15

Presentations

 

Dec 10

Week

 

16

Projects Due Today (11:59 pm)


Last update: August 27, 2012