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Herbert A. Simon

Herbert Simon is Professor of Psychology at Carnegie-Mellon University. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in economics in 1978.

Titles by This Author

Continuing his exploration of the organization of complexity and the science of design, this new edition of Herbert Simon's classic work on artificial intelligence adds a chapter that sorts out the current themes and toolschaos, adaptive systems, genetic algorithmsfor analyzing complexity and complex systems. There are updates throughout the book as well. These take into account important advances in cognitive psychology and the science of design while confirming and extending the book's basic thesis: that a physical symbol system has the necessary and sufficient means for intelligent action. The chapter "Economic Reality" has also been revised to reflect a change in emphasis in Simon's thinking about the respective roles of organizations and markets in economic systems.

Verbal Reports as Data

Since the publication of Ericsson and Simon's ground-breaking work in the early 1980s, verbal data has been used increasingly to study cognitive processes in many areas of psychology, and concurrent and retrospective verbal reports are now generally accepted as important sources of data on subjects' cognitive processes in specific tasks. In this revised edition of the book that first put protocol analysis on firm theoretical ground, the authors review major advances in verbal reports over the past decade, including new evidence on how giving verbal reports affects subjects' cognitive processes, and on the validity and completeness of such reports.

In a substantial new preface Ericsson and Simon summarize the central issues covered in the book and provide an updated version of their information-processing model, which explains verbalization and verbal reports. They describe new studies on the effects of verbalization, interpreting the results of these studies and showing how their theory can be extended to account for them. Next, they address the issue of completeness of verbally reported information, reviewing the new evidence in three particularly active task domains. They conclude by citing recent contributions to the techniques for encoding protocols, raising general issues, and proposing directions for future research.

All references and indexes have been updated.

Economic Analysis and Public Policy

The Nobel Prize in Economics was awarded to Herbert Simon in 1978. At Carnegie-Mellon University he holds the title of Professor of Computer Science and Psychology. These two facts together delineate the range and uniqueness of his contributions in creating meaningful interactions among fields that developed in isolation but that are all concerned with human decision-making and problem-solving processes.

In particular, Simon has brought the insights of decision theory, organization theory (especially as it applies to the business firm), behavior modeling, cognitive psychology, and the study of artificial intelligence to bear on economic questions. This has led not only to new conceptual dimensions for theoretical constructions, but also to a new humanizing realism in economics, a way of taking into account and dealing with human behavior and interactions that lie at the root of all economic activity.

The sixty papers and essays contained in these two volumes are grouped under eight sections, each with a brief introductory essay. These are: Some Questions of Public Policy, Dynamic Programming Under Uncertainty; Technological Change; The Structure of Economic Systems; The Business Firm as an Organization; The Economics of Information Processing; Economics and Psychology; and Substantive and Procedural Reality.

Most of Simon's papers on classical and neoclassical economic theory are contained in volume one. The second volume collects his papers on behavioral theory, with some overlap between the two volumes.

A set of related papers dealing with the meaning of causality in simulataneous dynamic equation systems. Investigation of the systems which only approximately satisfy the conditions enabling the definition of causality, leads to a set of limiting theorems concerning the dynamic behavior of such systems over time, and estimation procedures for the parameters of such systems. Implications of these theorems for some well-known propositions in economics and other social sciences are considered.