Revision History of Cognitive Productivity Book by Luc P. Beaudoin

The book, Cognitive Productivity, is officially complete, however I have been making very minor changes—mostly fixing errata and wordsmithing. This document contains most of the revision history of the Book, from the 2014-04-15 version onwards. Date/times Pacific (California). In case you’re interested, here’s a blog post that explains why I’m releasing these notes.

This book is currently only available as an ebook, which makes sense given that it’s about learning with technology. You can buy it from Leanpub, Amazon and Apple’s iBookstore. The Leanpub version gives you access to the book in PDF, Kindle and e-pub (Apple iBooks) formats. I also revise the Leanpub version more frequently than the others.

If you discover any errors in Cognitive Productivity please email us at


Minor wordsmithing, mainly in Part 3.


I have added a Postscript to the book. It includes a link to the online postscript..


Fixed minor typos in section 11.5 “P: Gauge its potency”.


Restored the accidentally deleted acknowledgements section of the book. Thanks to Leanpub for excellent service, quickly recovering from backup.


Added to footnote on CUPA:

Your Logical Fallacy Is is a succinct infographic of logical fallacies.

fixed minor typos.


Fixed a typo regarding Reddit. Deleted a spurious XML element in the bibliography.


fixed minor typos.


Ch. 12, Delve

  • Fixed an enumeration error in the list of “A template for conceptual understanding”


Ch. 12, Delve

I fixed a glaring (presumably post final release) typo:

Advanced strategies for delving text and multimedia have not previously been adequately been.

Advanced strategies for delving text and multimedia have not previously been adequately tested.

I also added a footnote around there regarding:

Mueller, P. A., & Oppenheimer, D. M. (2014). The pen is mightier than the keyboard: Advantages of longhand over laptop note taking. Psychological Science, 25(6), 1159–1168.

For a couple of hours this morning, pages of Cognitive Productivity were missing while I dealt with a change in Leanpub’s markdown compiler. Apologies to anyone who happened to try to download the book at that time.


  • Edited text and added a footnote and some references regarding the classical confounding distinctions between cognition, emotion and motivation. This is a recurrent theme in much of my writing and thinking, and shows up parenthetically throughout the book. I should write a paper about it.
  • Added a reference to Wolf’s Proust and The Squid (a book about reading).


Minor changes to the section on Illusions of helpfulness of information regarding the recently introduced Mating Minding example.


Corrected some typos identified by Christine Pan.

Some very minor changes (e.g., in bibliography).

Added a footnote in Part 3 to the work of Prof. Nancy Digdon (MacEwan University):

Digdon (2015) presents a detailed and very insightful case study that shows how confirmation bias, and related logical errors, can adversely impact reading and historical research.


Digdon, N. (2015, July). Use of patient files to identify Watson and Rayner’s Little Albert.
Paper presented at The European Society of History of Human Sciences Anger, France.

Her powerful paper is a great illustration of an illusion of meta-effectiveness (discussed in Chapter 3). The addition also illustrates that this book also applies to R&D in the area of history.


Ch 1 Introduction


Unfortunately, Carr’s interpretation of scientific literature and his defeatism overshadow his legitimate concerns. Let us “consider the opposite”, a reasoning strategy to which I oft return below.”


However, Carr’s apparent defeatism overshadow his legitimate concerns. Let us  “consider the opposite”,  a reasoning strategy discussed below.


cognitive science—the multidisciplinary, information processing study of mind—also needs to be included in the intersection.


cognitive science—the interdisciplinary, information processing study of mind—also needs to be included in the intersection.


It includes fluid both expertise and effectance.


It includes both fluid expertise and effectance.

The concept of effectance is discussed gradually, in different sections of the book. I added a few cross links to help with this.

1.2.5 Meta-effectiveness

changed: ” Fluid expertise is the ability to development expertise” to “Fluid expertise is the ability to develop expertise”

changed “Many knowledge workers have easy access to useful high caliber. ” to “Many knowledge workers have easy access to useful high caliber knowledge”

3.2.3 Cognitive productivity training


(such as that reviewed by Dunlosky et al, 2013, on effective learning techniques),

3 Challenges to meta-effectiveness

3.3 Psychological challenges

Added a wonderfully germane opening quotation of Kevin Kelly, co-founder of Wired.

Evolution seems to have designed our minds to not be easily self-reprogrammable
Kevin Kelly Effectance as a propensity to develop competence

Added a footnote regarding two types of effectance.

extended this footnote:

I believe this is false. Moreover, it is incompatible with the architectural view of motivation.


See Erber & Erber (2001) and chapter 5 of Frijda (2007) for related arguments against hedonism.

3.3.1 Cognitive science in the realm of knowledge work

I replaced this bullet:

Cognitive scientists have not done a particularly good job of conducting and disseminating
their research in a way that is relevant to research and development. Cognitive psychologists
in particular often focus on fascinating but narrow problems.

5 Your mind and its wares (the mind’s design)

5.2.6 Interrupt filters and perturbance (tertiary emotions)

Extended a footnote with a reference to:

See Kruglanski et al (2012) for an attempt to quantitatively formalize the “forces” that determine the cognitive effort a person expends on a given task. Their analysis […]

7 Deliberate practice: A source of effectiveness


In a survey of 374 undergraduates, Wissman et al. (2012) found that, by far, students’ favourite strategy is to restudy notes rather than to practice.


In a survey of 374 undergraduates, Wissman, Rawson, & Pyc (2012) found that, by far, students’ favourite strategy is to restudy notes rather than to practice.

7.3.1 K. Anders Ericsson’s theory of the development of expertise

I now use the expression “progressive experts” where I used to speak only of “fluid experts”

So I extended the footnote that starts with “To convey this concept, in this section, I refer to experts both as” with the following:

The more transparent term, “progressing experts”, can be used interchangeably with “fluid experts”; similarly, “crystallized expert” and “stagnant expert” are equivalent.

By the way, the “crystallized”/ “fluid” distinction is well known in cognitive psychology. I believe the epithets of expertise, “progressing” and “stagnant”, are easier to understand for the general reader and the rest of us too. And hence normally preferable.

9 Learn your way around your R&D

9.2 Learn your way around your meta-information

added a long footnote to this section to help orient my readers to the academic literature on this subject. Just a footnote because this is the practical part of the book, not the academic one.

This section addresses the research information management aspect of personal information management (PIM), meaning the individual’s management of research information they generate and acquire. In my experience, knowledge workers rarely discuss their PIM strategies. Oh & Belkin (2014) and Oh (2012) illustrate how simplistic people’s information management strategies can be. Hardof-Jaffe & Nachmias (2013) found interesting developmental differences amongst high school and university students’ PIM. Yamamoto (2013) is a large compendium of papers on user interface issues related to information management, of which Al-Omar & Cox is most germane to this book, concluding “If judged by the ability to re-find information[,] scholars’ research-related PICs [Personal Information Collections ] were in many respects a failure.” However, it is impossible to generalize from their sample. One would expect PIM skills and propensities to develop as a function of one’s meta-effectiveness. Kljun, Mariani & Dix (2013) present over 100 prototypes PIM tools and discuss their adoption.

Ch. 11 Assess

11.3.1 Rhetorical and rational compellingness

Some word-smithing. And added reference to Goldacre (2014).

Ch. 12 Delve

12.1 Effective delving

added footnote with pointers to the scholarly literature on annotation:

For scholarly research on annotation see in particular Bélanger (2010), Bratt (2009), Whittaker (2012), and Wolfe (2000, 2001, 2002). I published the introduction to an empirical research proposal on meta-documentation and self-testing on the CogZest blog. There, I defined meta-documentation generally to include both in-line annotation and external meta-docs. These concepts are explained below.

Ch. 15 and bibliography

Changed the year of Hayes’ paper “such as some of the non-mystical ideas of Buddhism (Hayes, 2002).” to “such as some of the non-mystical ideas of Buddhism (Hayes, 2002b).”

Renamed the previous J.R. Hayes, 2002 paper to Hayes (2002a).


Indented quote

Être figé

Added quote:

However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them?
Gautama Buddha


Added some crosslinks.



Dunlosky, J., Rawson, K. A., Marsh, E. J., Nathan, M. J., & Willingham, D. T. (2013). Improving students’ learning with effective learning techniques: Promising directions from cognitive and educational psychology. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 14(1), 4–58. doi:10.1177/1529100612453266
Erber, R., & Erber, M. W. (2001). Mood and processing: A view from a self-regulation perspective. In L. L. Martin & G. L. Clore, Theories of mood and cognition: A users guidebook (pp. 63–84). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.
Kruglanski, A. W., Bélanger, J. J., Chen, X., Köpetz, C., Pierro, A., & Mannetti, L. (2012). The energetics of motivated cognition: A force-field analysis. Psychological Review, 119(1), 1–20. doi:10.1037/a0025488

Whittaker, S., Kalnikaité, V., & Ehlen, P. (2012). Markup as you talk: Establishing effective memory cues while still contributing to a meeting. CSCW’12 (pp. 349–358). New York: ACM Press.
Wolfe, J. L. (2000). Effects of annotations on student readers and writers. In Proceedings of the Fifth ACM Conference on Digital Libraries (pp. 19-26). New York: ACM Press.

Wolfe, J. (2002). Annotation technologies: A software and research review. Computers and Composition, 19(4), 471–497.

Wolfe, J. L. (2001). Pedagogical uses of annotations and annotation technologies (Doctoral dissertation). The University of Texas at Austin.

Corrected Dennett consciousness book’s year of publication. It’s 1991 not 1992.


several other miscellaneous edits.


Reduced the size of several image files for publication on iBookstore. This change should not be visible to Leanpub readers. If it is please let me know at As a result, the book also uses less storage space and will be slightly quicker to download.

Moved the copyright page back to the front (was temporarily after the list of figures).


deleted duplicate opening quotation



Minsky’s book is currently available online, so I’ve captured it as

which was a relic.


added the original source for the functional autonomy concept: Allport 1931


Very minor modifications in the introduction of Section 6.


Part 3, Ch. 12 (“Delve”)

Updated some OmniOutliner meta-doc figures.


Part 2, Ch. 5

Thanks to an email from Franziska Meyer, I made the Typical Java Code sample more typical. And added a missing bracket in the Atypical java code.


Added an index created by Jen Weers. It’s not yet hyperlinked.

Corrected minor typos throughout the book that were spotted by Jen Weers as she was indexing the book.

2014-09-23 to 2014-09-25

Many changes to bibliography thanks to James Cullin. And a couple of citation changes in the text.

I’m now satisfied that the bibliography is basically correct and complete, though with a bibliography of this size, little issues may remain.



Made many changes to citations and bibliography thanks to James Cullin, including adding many missing references to the book. So the book has grown again, but just in the backmatter. Also, made several other corrections to citations.

Added back acknowledgments section that had mysteriously disappeared. Thanks to backups.

James will verify the reference list from K to Z to ensure they adhere sufficiently to APA guidelines.


Fixed many minor errors in the bibliography, mainly from A-G. With thanks to Carol Woodworth for carefully editing this part of the bibliography, applying APA guidelines. More fixes to come.

(Dealing with bibliography, proof reading, and indexing is where self-publishing is hard… However, I have a system and some good contractors for my next books.)


Added to the acknowledgements, which never will be complete. Shortened what was a sprawling footnote on prediction and corrected its bibliographical reference.


I’ve added some extras to Cognitive Productivity: meta-doc templates. A meta-doc is a document for taking notes about content. These templates are described in Ch. 12, “Delve”. Formats provided include OmniOutliner, PDF and Outline Processor Markup Language. Readers of this book can download the extras from the Cognitive Productivity page on Leanpub. Enjoy delving :).


Added numbers to each figure. Added a list of figures to the beginning of the book.


Changes in bibliography. Carol Woodworth is kindly going through the entire bibliography and finding correcting numerous minor errors that were previously overlooked.


Ch. 1

Added to footnote 3: “Thus, multi-scale modeling of the brain must include virtual machines. ”

Ch. 6

Added a qualification to my footnote on MacNamara’s criticism of Piaget:

In fairness, Piaget admitted as much: “a notion such as reflective abstraction would not have value unless one substituted a detailed model for such vague formulations. We are not there yet.” (Piaget, 1997, p. 113, translation mine.)

Ch. 11 (Evaluate)

Appended a section: “Other minds: Their recommendations, reviews and commentary”.

replaced remaining instances of “evaluation” with “assessment” (in this chapter and cross-links to it).

Ch. 12

Added a footnote:

Alternatives to cloud services include the peer-to-peer service, BitTorrent Sync, and Transporter’s personal storage access solutions.


Part 2

More minor tweaks to footnotes.

Ch. 9

Minor figure-related changes.


Ch. 16.

Added a footnote on unlearning and corresponding references to the bibliography.

Given the allusion to unlearning with which I opened this chapter, I should mention that Hayes, Strosahl & Wilson (2011, chapter 2) claim that there is no such process as unlearning […]

Ch. 5

added references to:

Izard, C. E. (2010). The many meanings/aspects of emotion: definitions, functions, activation, and regulation. Emotion Review, 2(4), 363–370. doi:10.1177/1754073910374661

Dixon, T. (2012). “Emotion”: The history of a keyword in crisis. Emotion Review, 4(4), 338–344. doi:10.1177/1754073912445814

Extended first footnote with: Alexei Samsonovich (2012) of the Biologically Inspired Cognitive Architectures Society compiled a Comparative Table of Cognitive Architectures


Ch. 3

reference to curiosity: “as are various factors related to curiosity (Aubé, 2005).”

Ch. 5

Made reference to Frijda (2009) on concerns in emotion.

Clarified remark about The communicative theory of emotion: The communicative theory of emotion (Oatley, 1992; Oatley & Johnson-Laird, 1987, 2011) is similar to ours in many respects. It is also derived from Simon (1967). But there are some significant differences. It takes a functionalist stance with respect to all emotions (i.e., that emotions serve a purpose). It does not draw a distinction between primary, secondary and tertiary emotions.


minor change


Ch. 3

Added an opening quotation about Nelson Mandela


Finished sweeping through all of the footnotes in this book. Today that mainly affected Part 3, but no part was spared. There were originally well over 600 footnotes (blame or thank Edward Gibbon) in this book, but I have deleted and shortened many of them.

Misc minor updates to Part 3, including to reflect changes in technology since the June 2013 publication of this book.

Added entries to the bibliography.

2014-07-24 to 2014-07-31

Several very minor changes to the text (mostly footnotes) in Part 2 and chapters 7-9, and to the bibliography. Also fixed a typo in Chapter 1.


There are over 600 footnotes in this book. Many typos fell through the cracks in reviewing the footnotes because they were reviewed based on the PDF version of this book, which uses a small font for the footnotes. Also, the footnotes needed to be pared down and generally improved. Accordingly,, I have been attending to footnotes recently.

Several minor changes to footnotes in Part 2. Extended the bibliography accordingly.

In these notes, I am not drawing attention to all the footnote changes that I’ve made. An exception is this footnote.

Hurley, Dennett & Adams (2011) made an interesting argument that humans are designed to find disconfirmations pleasurable (humorous) because this tendency will make them actively seek out contradictions. Active seeking of coherence and truth is a rational thinking disposition (Stanovich, 2011). So, fluid rationality makes one better able to appreciate humour, which runs counter to the popular belief that to be rational is to be stern. Accordingly, we can expect fluid experts to be more likely to find humor in their domain than novices or crystalized experts. One can extrapolate from chapter 5 of Fisher (2012) that fluid rationality was selected for in evolution not merely because it made survival more likely but because it made the host more likely to be chosen as a suitor by a potential mating partner.

Also replaced “authentic expert” with “fluid expert” throughout.


Several minor changes to footnotes in Part 2. Extended the bibliography accordingly.


Several other minor changes to footnotes in Part 1.


Updated footnotes up to page 49.


Ch. 1

added footnote to “escalation of commitment”.

added links to the footnote: “I agree with Schön that rational practical conduct is not a”

Staw (1981). Heng, Tan & Wei (2003) describe how this phenomenon plays out in information technology projects.

Ch. 2

in a footnote: “our causal powers” → “our causal reasoning powers”

Added a footnote to:

We will only consider some of the distinctions in this section.

Allport (1961) has a perspicuous analysis of personality traits in relation to habits (and other dispositions). See also Ryle (1949).

Ch. 3


They sought to understand how people develop expertise and how they can lose expertise.


They sought to explain how people acquire and lose expertise

Elaborated on the different types of transfer, given that this book essentially is about both. An alternative title for Cognitive Productivity is “Learning for Transfer”. That title would make the book instantly understandable by educationalists but not self-directed learner themselves.:

These authors on transfer acknowledged that they themselves had previously failed to distinguish between these two types of “transfer”. The former, narrow type of transfer they labeled “transfer out”. The later, broader type of transfer they labelled “preparation for learning”.


Schwartz, Bransford, & Sears (2005) distinguished these two types of “transfer”. “Transfer out” involves applying previously processed knowledge. One can also “transfer in” to a learning situation. This is where previous information processing prepares one for (and potentiates) new learning experiences. Preparation for future learning, which promotes “transfer in”, is an important educational mindset. Schwartz, Bransford, & Sears bemoan the lack of attention to transfer in. They write “A major challenge for educators is exploring how to make both transfer in and transfer out productive.” This book addresses both.


deleted and pruned several footnotes in Ch. 1-3

fixed this sentence in a footnote:

This is another example of the thesis of “Updating how we think about knowledge and ourselves”



Staw, B. M. (1981). The escalation of commitment to a course of action. Academy of management Review, 6(4), 577-587.


Chapter 1


Added an opening quotation:

Human language, and human culture, are not instincts— but they are instincts to learn.
W. Tecumseh Fitch

Chapter 2

2.6 Developing propensities, habits and other dispositions

A new opening quotation that is indicative of the link between dispositions and mastery, which link to meta-effectiveness:

A [personal disposition], then, is identifiable not by sharp contours or boundaries, but by a nuclear and quality. The nuclear quality will be some important goal or meaning, or sometimes a style of expression. All these betray the individual’s effort at survival and mastery, and give shape or form to his personality.
Gordon Allport

Chapter 6

A new opening quotation for:

Growth of component processes

I insist only that if we are interested in personality, we must go beyond the elementaristic realm and reach into the more morphogenic realm.
Gordon Allport

2014-05-02 , 2014-05-03 (several times)

In the last couple of days I’ve added/tweaked a few footnotes, references and opening quotations for the benefit of scholars.

The character encoding recently went awry causing some source text containing special characters to be translated into gibberish. For example, Schön’s name was mangled. I changed a setting to fix this problem. (To force UTF-8 format character encoding.) If you encounter a related issue, please let me know.

I’m also modifying the text to use self-directed learner more instead of knowledge worker. Lots of what people do as knowledge workers is not aimed at learning. However, the expression “learning” isn’t quite right either. The book is mainly about learning from knowledge resources (books, etc.), whereas learning includes all kinds of other things, e.g., learning your way around a city without using a map. But I don’t want to coin another word here. Bereiter (2002a) makes a similar point about learning.

Part 1


I touched up almost every paragraph in the preface.


Minor word-smithing.

Added an opening quotation:

Excessive preoccupation with the practical aspects of investigation, without any thought for the basic problems is fruitless
Hans Selye

Chapter 1

I revised the footnote that contained:

Sally Satel and Scott Lilienfeld comment on the seductive appeal of mindless neuroscience.

it now reads:

While neuroscience is an important contributor to cognitive science, too many people are duped into thinking we understand more about mind-brain interactions than we do. One of the difficulties with neuroscience is statistical power, linked to low sample sizes (Button et al, 2013.) There are also problems with frequent non-blind studies. Button et al lament the lack of reproducibility in swaths of neuroscience. See also Stix (2013) on the subject. Satel & Lilienfeld (2013) warn their readers about the seductive appeal of mindless neuroscience,, particularly given the psychological (if not rational) compellingness of neuroimaging. See also the discussion of “neuromania” in Changeux & McGinn (2013). Epistemic exuberance needs to be bridled by skeptical thinking (compare Chapter 11, “Assess”)

edited this footnote:

See Sloman (2009a) for a description of the mind as a layered virtual …

I have replaced this :

I believe no one has previously sought to create a coherent, cognitive-science based framework specifically to help knowledge workers exploit knowledge and technology to improve their effectiveness.


what is needed …

Extended a footnote that read

Phenomena-based research is by far the most commonly used family of research methods used in psychology. It consists in all kinds of methods to test hypotheses produced through ad hoc theory development or, alternatively, through the designer stance. Undergraduate textbooks on research methods in psychology, for example, do not even mention designer-based research, let alone dedicate an entire collection of chapters to designer-based research.

to read:

Phenomena-based research is by far the most commonly used family of research methods used in psychology. It consists of various methods to test hypotheses produced through ad hoc theory development or, alternatively, through the designer stance. Undergraduate textbooks on research methods in psychology, for example Shaughnessy, Zechmeister & Zechmeister (2009), occasionally briefly describe theory construction. But they do not provide guidance on how to develop theories. They do not even mention designer-based research. I was accepted in the Ph.D. programme in the department of Psychology at McGill University in 1990. My prospective advisor, Prof. Thomas Shultz, accepted that I intended to do computational research. I asked him whether anyone had ever defended a theoretical Ph.D. thesis in his department. He said no! So, I turned down their offer and accepted a Commonwealth Scholarship to study in the Cognitive Science programme at Sussex University, which had an established tradition of theoretical research. Rigorous empirical research is essential; but it is not sufficient. The psychology and methodology of theory development can be taught.

Ch. 6

Added a footnote to

This is partly why,  in the Meta-effectiveness framework, I often speak of “mental development” rather than merely “learning”.

the new footnote being:

Compare the discussion of learning vs. development in Boden (1988, pp. 187-224).

Ch. 11

Shortened Schopenhauer quotation.

Moved the quote by J. L. Austin to “11.6 A: Gauge its appeal and analyze your intuitions”


Added opening quotation by Kant.

Ch. 15

Added a footnote to:

Clients normally do need to acquire concepts and skills

on what I consider to be a very important aspect of meta-effectiveness, namely metaphors.

It reads:

For example, Metaphor is a potent educational technique exploited in psychotherapy. See Linehan (1988, pp. 209-212) for references and examples of metaphor in the dialetical treatment of borderline personality disorder. (Treating borderline personality clients calls for oblique methods because these people typically have low insight into their conditions. Understanding how these methods work might provide insight into normal mental development.) Anthony Robbins is a master of metaphor in inspirational self-help literature. There are 31 entries under metaphor in the index of Robbins (1991). Potent metaphors can lead to deep mental change with relatively little effort, yet not without the right effort. The meta-effective self-directed learner is disposed to master highly helpful metaphors he encounters.

deleted redundant sentence

We need to understand how ACT techniques work at the information processing level.



Allport, D. A. (1980). Patterns and actions. In G. Claxton (Ed.), Cognitive psychology: New directions. (pp. 26–64). London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

Boden, M. A. (1988). Computer Models of Mind. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Kant, I. (1704) An answer to the question: “What is enlightenment?”

Satel, S., & Lilienfeld, S. O. (2013). Brainwashed: The seductive appeal of mindless neuroscience. Basic Books: New York.

Robbins, A. (1992) → Robbins, A. (1991)

2014-04-29 Effectance as a propensity to develop competence

Replaced “drives” with “instincts” re McDougall, and added a footnote regarding the proliferation of instincts and a corresponding entry in the bibliography. I linked to a free copy of L. L. Bernard’s book.

Bernard (1924) painstakingly identified over 14,000 alleged instincts in the social science literature.


Chapter 15

Eleven minor changes (fixed typos, clarifications) thanks to reader feedback.

2014-04-20 c. 12:23 PM, 12:38 PM; 2014-04-21; 2014-04-23 to 2014-04-26

The main change here is that I have renamed and substantially rewritten Chapter 15, Meta-effectiveness framework and clinical psychology. The chapter now has several subsections to clearly make the points I want to make. So if this topic interests you, you’ll want to re the new version. I will be extending these ideas at the 2014 Cognitive Science conference in Quebec city on July 23. The working title of my paper is “Parasitic mindware and perturbant emotions: How clinical psychology and meta-effectiveness research can be combined and contribute to each other”. But in Cognitive Productivity book, my main focus of course is on the self-directed learning.

Part 1

Ch. 1

Updated the second footnote, which now reads:

One of the vexing challenges in neuroscience is statistical power, linked to low sample sizes (Button et al, 2013.) There are also problems with frequent non-blind studies. Button et al and Stix (2013) lament the lack of reproducibility in swaths of neuroscience. Compare Sally Satel and Scott Lilienfeld on the seductive appeal of mindless neuroscience. See also the discussion of “neuromania” in Changeux & McGinn (2013). Epistemic exuberance must be bridled.

Ch. 7

Added “Season of birth may also have an effect (Gobet & Chassy, 2007).”

Part 3

Ch. 12 Assess

I finally buckled and replaced “appealingness” with appeal. I was following Andrew Ortony’s lead (a paper of his on emotions) but the ghost of Orwell floating over my shoulder just got to be too eerie for me.

Footnote that mentions now includes a couple of extra references:

For example, Rationally Speaking Podcast,, Sense about science. The CRAP test test is a filter for a few aspects of caliber.

The paragraph that I modified earlier this week to read:

Even so equipped, we are all fallible, and need effortfully to be on guard. Thus, it’s a good idea to periodically read about empirical research methods, rationality, skepticism and cognitive biases. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of high caliber resources on these subjects (e.g., Anastasi, 1988; Shaughnessy, Zechmeister & Zechmeister, 2009; Stanovich, 2010; and various podcasts and websites15).

now reads:

So we all need to keep our critical reasoning skills sharp and primed. It’s a good idea to periodically read about empirical research methods, rationality, skepticism and cognitive biases. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of high caliber resources on these subjects (e.g., Anastasi, 1988; Lakatos, 1980; Pigliucci, 2010; Popper, 1983; Shaughnessy, Zechmeister & Zechmeister, 2009; Stanovich, 2010; and various Internet resources[^669]).

I trust the dangling modifier won’t confuse my readers.

the footnote on “than to gauge whether it is empirically falsifiable” now reads:

Falsifiability, a criterion so well articulated by Karl Popper, is very important. Ch. 1 of Lakatos (1980) demonstrates that the concept is much more complex than is normally assumed. For instance, in progressive research programmes theories with heuristic power can be protected from falsification in ways that would distress naive falsificationists.

Ch. 12 Delve

Changed this:

If your computer is your sync service, syncing is virtually free for you. OmniGroup has recently released OmniPresence, which enables you to use your computer as a free sync server for its apps



new references:

Beaudoin, L. P. (Manuscript in preparation). Parasitic mindware and perturbant emotions: How clinical psychology and meta-effectiveness research can be combined and contribute to each other. (Working title). For CogSci 2014, Workshop on Computational Modeling of Cognition-Emotion Interactions: Relevance to Mechanisms of Affective Disorders and Psychotherapeutic Action.

Changeux, J. P & McGinn, C. (2013). Neuroscience & Philosophy: An Exchange. The New York Review of Books. From

Stix, G. New Study: Neuroscience Research Gets an “F” for Reliability. Scientific American—Talking Back.

This book draws extensively on information processing psychology.

Wells, A., & Mathews, G. (1994). Attention and Emotion: A clinical perspective. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers.

Other footnotes

Extended the footnote in Section 14.3.1 on “Some basic distinctions” that starts with:

Oatley (1992) argued that literature is a major potential source of ideas about emotion for broad cognitive science (in particular pp. 123-129).

by adding this:

Cognitive science can also inform literature. The H-CogAff theory of affect inspired and permeates David Lodge’s novel, Thinks….

The footnote starting with

Papers was originally created by Mekentosj, a company that was purchased by Springer in Nov 2012.

Has been replaced by:

Beware of Papers2’s limitations on number of files it can sync with iOS devices. This is a new type of software whose features go well beyond traditional citation managers. Papers3 addresses these limitations. See Academic Workflows for a review. Mendeley is one of several alternatives to Mekentosj Papers. There’s a wikipedia page comparing reference management software.

Added Fallacy files to a footnote mentioned below. Had long been meaning to do that.

For example, Rationally Speaking Podcast,, Sense about science. The Fallacy Files contains an extensive taxonomy of fallacies. The CRAP test test is a filter for a few aspects of caliber.

I refined the translation of Brel’s quote. I originally wrote:

To be tethered is a colossal error. One must, through discipline, come to have only noble temptations.

And now:

To stagnate is a colossal error.

Ch. 14

In the last section, I replaced these sentences

Why is attitude change sometimes difficult? One difficulty is conceptual: there are many different phenomena to which we apply the label “attitude” — it’s a polymorphic concept. Another problem is that it calls for a systematic theory of attitudes in particular and affect in general. Freud’s systematic theory of affect has not been replaced, in wider culture, by one so widely known.


Why is attitude change sometimes difficult? One difficulty is conceptual: there are many different phenomena to which we apply the label “attitude” — it’s a polymorphic concept. Another problem is that there is no widely held explicit theory of attitudes in particular and affect in general.

fixed typo in :

More abstractly, however, we can view attitudes as a valenced components of motivators.

Ch. 15


Added the following, with thanks to Kris Magnusson, Dean of the Faculty of Education of Simon Fraser University, for bringing it to my attention.

Martin, J., & Hiebert, B. A. (1985). Instructional counseling: A method for counselors. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh press.

2014-04-16 c. 4:23 PM

Part 1

Ch. 1

Added crosslink to “compare the emphasis in the”

Added this footnote to “I therefore sometimes write in terms of broad cognitive science.” :

The label affective cognitive science is also often used (even by myself). However, strictly speaking, the classical notion of affect excludes “volition” (a subset of executive functions), so broad cognitive science is more inclusive.

Extended the footnote associated with “Fortunately, there is the scientific work of John Gottman” with references on Gottman’s work, to provide readers with tools to assess it, and also relate the assessment of its helpfulness to the meta-effectiveness framework of Cognitive Productivity:

Several authors have examined the quality, effectiveness and rhetoric of psychological self-help literature (bibliotheraphy), including Gottman’s work (e.g., Hill, 2007; Redding, Herbert, Formann & Guadiano, 2008; Shrank & Engels, 2011). Marano, 1997 and Hill (2007), for example, are (correctly) highly critical of John Gray’s Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus in contrast with Gottman’s. We need to distinguish the potential helpfulness of literature from its actual effectiveness because most readers likely did not utilize meta-effective techniques and concepts described in the current book. For more on the assessment of literature, see Ch. 11.

Part 2

New footnote to “as are feedback mechanisms in the brain”:

For a strong argument about the importance of feedback in the brain, see Hawkins & Blakeslee (2005).”

Ch. 5

I wanted to emphasize that whether or not one adopts the concept of long-term working memory, one needs something to add to working memory. And I particularly want to draw attention to Merlin Donald’s architectural work, which is complementary to ours. So I have added this footnote to: “The theory gets many readers in the right “ball park” ”

Whether or not one subscribes to Erickson’s theory of long-term working memory, the insufficiency of the concept of working memory definitely warrants a theoretical response. I have long found the concept of working memory to be an unfortunate “thought stopper” to which people appeal. Merlin Donald, in his very important book, A Mind So Rare, corroborates my position. His expansive notion of consciousness is worthy of careful consideration. He provides a strong argument for the theoretical importance of mental architecture, which is consonant with the H-CogAff framework.

Ch. 7

fixed typo: “Another striking examples of limitation is working memory capacity” → “Another striking example of limitation is working memory capacity”

Part 3

Ch. 11 Assess

I’ve added a paragraph to the end of 11.3.1 Rhetorical and rational compellingness

Even so equipped, we are all fallible, and need effortfully to be on guard. Thus, it’s a good idea to periodically read about empirical research methods, rationality and skepticism. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of high caliber resources on research methods and skepticism (e.g., Anastasi, 1988; Shaughnessy, Zechmeister & Zechmeister (2009), Stanovich, 2010; and various podcasts and websites that promote critical inquiry[^669]). While avoiding epistemic paralysis, one nonetheless always needs to be sensitive, while processing information, to reasons why its assumptions or claims may be false, its inferences invalid, and so forth.

with this footnote:

For example, Rationally Speaking Podcast and Skeptic.


Redding, R. E., Herbert, J. D., Formann, E. M. & Guadiano, B. A. (2008). Popular self-help books for anxiety, depression, and trauma: How scientifically grounded and useful are they? Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 39, (5), 537-545.

Schrank, F. A. Engels, D. E. (1981). Bibliotherapy as a counseling adjunct: Research findings. Personnel and Guidance Journal 60(3), 143-147.

Hill, C. R. (1987). Relationship Rhetoric: Representations of Intimacy in Contemporary Self-Help Literature. (Unpublished doctoral dissertation.) Simon Fraser University.

Changes prior to 2014-04-16.

I may have made some very minor undocumented changes.

2014-03-21 6_56 PM
Ch 1
promoted to text from footnote: Steve Jobs said of Apple, “We believe that it’s technology married with the humanities that yields us the result that makes our heart sing” (Isaacson, 2011).

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