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Keith J. Holyoak is a leading researcher in cognitive psychology and cognitive science, working on human thinking and reasoning. Holyoak pioneered modern psychological work on the role of analogy in thinking. His work showed how analogy can be used to enhance learning of new abstract concepts by both children and adults, as well as how reasoning breaks down in cases of brain damage.
Holyoak was born in British Columbia, Canada, in 1950. He received his B.A. in Psychology from the University of British Columbia in 1971, and his PhD in Psychology from Stanford University in 1976. He was on the faculty of the University of Michigan from 1976-1986, and then joined the faculty of the University of California, Los Angeles, where he is a Distinguished Professor of Psychology. Holyoak received a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation in 1992, and a James McKeen Cattell Fellowship in 1999. He is a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science and of the Society for Experimental Psychology. He served as Chair of the Governing Board of the Cognitive Science Society (1994-95) and Editor of the journal Cognitive Psychology (1995-99).
Holyoak's books include:
- Holland, J.H., Holyoak, K.J., Nisbett, R.E., & Thagard, P. (1986). Induction: Processes of Inference, Learning, and Discovery. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, ISBN 0262081609.
- Holyoak, K.J., & Thagard, P. (1995). Mental Leaps: Analogy in Creative Thought. Cambridge, MA, MIT Press, ISBN 0262581442.
- Gentner, D., Holyoak, K.J., & Kokinov, B. (Eds.) (2001). The Analogical Mind: Perspectives from Cognitive Science. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, ISBN 0262571390
- Holyoak, K.J., & Morrison, R.G. (Eds.) (2005). The Cambridge Handbook of Thinking and Reasoning. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0521531012
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