Date of Original Version



Book Chapter

Abstract or Description

Since their birth (ca. late 1960s), production systems have been developed as a formal tool not only for describing but for explaining how humans think. Indeed, “to advance our understanding of how humans think” is the stated goal of Newell and Simon’s classic (1972) book Human Problem Solving, where the first body of work on production-system models of human thought was presented. The main goal for production systems in psychological research has changed little in the intervening years, and yet the state of the art has advanced dramatically. The aim of the current chapter is to present a contemporary production-systems approach to open questions in problem solving, reasoning, analogy, and language. We will highlight the ways in which today’s production systems allow for more flexibility, stochasticity, and sensitivity than their predecessors. Besides demonstrating that production systems can offer insight into current questions and add to our understanding of human thinking, we will discuss our view of production systems in future research

Included in

Psychology Commons



Published In

K. Holyoak & R. Morrison (Eds.) Cambridge Handbook of Thinking and Reasoning, Cambridge University Press; NY, 401-430.