An optimal control approach to testing theories of human information processing constraints

Chen, Xiuli (2015). An optimal control approach to testing theories of human information processing constraints. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

PDF - Accepted Version

Download (2MB)


This thesis is concerned with explaining human control and decision making behaviours in an integrated framework. The framework provides a means of explaining human behaviour in terms of adaptation to the constraints imposed by both the task environment and the information processing mechanisms of the mind. Some previous approaches tended to have been polarised between those that have focused on rational analyses of the task environment, on the one hand, and those that have focused on the mechanisms that give rise to cognition on the other hand. The former usually is based on the assumption that rational human beings adapt to the external environment by achieving 'goals' defined only by the task environment and with minimal consideration of the mechanisms of the human mind; while the latter focuses on information processing mechanisms that are hypothesised to generate behaviour, e.g., heuristics, or rules. In contrast, in the approach explored in this thesis, mechanism and rationality are tightly integrated. This thesis investigates a \(state\) \(estimation\) \(and\) \(optimal\) \(control\) approach, in which human behavioural strategies and heuristics, rather than being programmed into the model, emerge as a consequence of rational adaptation given a theory of the information processing constraints.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
School or Department: School of Computer Science
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Q Science > Q Science (General)


Request a Correction Request a Correction
View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year