Sunday, 19 October 2014

Cognitive Psychology Group Colloquium (and The Great Bayes Debate!)

This week we have two special events.

First, a colloquium from Prof. Cliff Hooker (a pioneer of Cognitive Science at Newcastle, now an Emeritus Professor) in our usual time slot.

Then on Friday we debate whether "Bayesian cognitive models advance our understanding of the human mind." with Dan Navarro (University of Adelaide, and Don van Van Ravenzwaaij in the affirmative and Ben Newell ( and Scott Brown in the negative.

When: Thursday 23th October, 12-1pm (Colloquium)  and
            Friday 24th October, 1-2pm (Bayes Debate)

Where: Keats Reading Room, Psychology Building


Title: A Universal Model for Deep Problem Solving
Authors: Robert Farrell, Cliff Hooker

This paper provides a specific proposal for the internal drive and organisation of a problem solving process capable, if anything is, of solving initially strongly ill-defined (= deep) problems, and an explanation of why it is so cognitively powerful. Arguably it works, if anything does, everywhere deep problems arise, including in design, science, management and detective work, and performs as well or better than alternatives on most wicked problems. The proposed model arose from our study of the development of research into ape linguistic capacities using our high-level organisational model of learning process: self-directed anticipative learning (SDAL) combined with the standard model of design process in which problem and solution are iteratively reformulated.


Robert Farrell holds a PhD (ANU) in Philosophy of Science, has published a well received book on Paul Feyerabend's critique of the common, too simplistic, accounts of scientific method, and 8 papers on the present research.

Cliff Hooker, PhD (Physics), PhD (Philosophy), FAHA is emeritus prof. of Philosophy at NewcastleU. he has published 150+ papers (incl. 7 of Farrell's 8 papers) and authored/edited 20+ books on foundations of physics, biology and complex systems, and on rationality, philosophy of science, applied ethics and kindred topics.