The Psychology of Information Access.
Fall 1996, Wednesdays 2:30-5:00
This course will cover a variety of issues about how we access
information. It will investigate how we encode, store and
retrieve information both from our own memory and from external
sources such as our desks, computer file systems, colleagues, and information
retrieval and filtering systems. As such, the course will cover a
variety of areas including, cognitive modeling, social psychology,
anthropology, computer science and information retrieval.
Some of the topics and questions that will be covered:
- Memory retrieval. How do we store/retrieve information from our
own memory. We will look at a variety of models and representations
including as spreading activation, compund-cue, connectionist, and
rational analysis approaches. What do these models have in common in
terms of of how information is stored, retrieved and represented?
- Information retrieval What models and methods are used in
computer information retrieval. We will look at some of the methods
used and how they relate to models of human memory. Can we build
effective computer information retrieval systems based on human memory
models? Can we build effective human memory models based on what we
know about computer information retrieval? Should computer retrieval
systems work just like extensions of our own memory?
- Social information access. How do humans locate information from
external sources such as colleagues? How do we know who to go to?
How does information flow within organizations? How do information
systems affect social structures that have been created based on
- Information filtering. How can we model people's
information needs so that we can predict future information needs and
judge the relevance of any piece of information to a person's needs.
- Hypertext, the Web, and the mind. Part of the appeal of
hypertext is that it is supposed to mimic the mind's associative
structures. Does hypertext really serve as an external memory?
Readings and Syllabus:
Syllabus and readings for the course.
Back to Peter Foltz's web page.