Xunesis Managing Partner
Keith J. Holyoak, PhD web-site vita

Dr. Holyoak is professor and vice-chair of Psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles.   He was previously professor of Psychology at the University of Michigan, He received his Ph.D. degree in Psychology from Stanford University in 1976.

Dr. Holyoak received a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in 1992, and a James McKeen Cattell Fellowship in 1999. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Psychological Society and the Society for Experimental Psychology.

Dr. Holyoak has been an active member of the Psychonomic Society, the Society for Cognitive Neuroscience and the Cognitive Science Society.   He has previously been Chair of the Governing Board of the Cognitive Science Society. He was formerly Editor of the journal Cognitive Psychology and Senior Editor of the journal Cognitive Science.   He has served on the editoral boards on numerous prestigious journals in psychology and has also served on a number of advisory panels for the National Science Foundation and other federal agencies.

Dr. Holyoak has made a number of major contributions to the scientific understanding of human thinking. In the area of deductive reasoning, Holyoak and his collaborator Patricia Cheng developed the theory of pragmatic reasoning schemas, which explains some of the most puzzling influences of content on people's deductive inferences. In addition, Dr. Holyoak pioneered modern work on the role of analogy in thinking. He invented a method for experimentally studying the use of cross-domain analogies in problem solving, suitable for use with people ranging in age from preschool children to adults. His research showed that different types of similarity have differential impact on retrieval versus mapping, and that analogical transfer enhances learning of new abstract concepts. His work demonstrated how analogy can be used to teach complex scientific topics by allowing transfer across different knowledge domains, and how analogy can be used as a powerful tool for persuasion in areas such as foreign policy. He and his colleague John Hummel have developed a detailed neural-network model of relational thought, using analogy as the primary example, which has been used to simulate both normal human thinking and its breakdown in cases of brain damage.

Dr. Holyoak has published over 150 scientific articles, and is the co-author or editor of several books, including Induction: Processes of Inference, Learning and Discovery (MIT Press, 1986), Mental Leaps: Analogy in Creative Thought   (MIT Press, 1995), The Analogical Mind (MIT Press, 2001), and The Cambridge Handbook of Thinking and Reasoning (Cambridge University Press, 2005).

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