A book of collected papers entitled Human Memory and the Learning Process: Selected Papers of Richard C. Atkinson, assembled by Russian colleagues, translated into Russian, and published in 1980 by the U.S.S.R. Academy of Sciences. The reference is Human Memory and the Learning Process: Selected Papers of Richard C. Atkinson, edited by Y. Zabrodin and B. F. Lomov. Moscow: Progress Publishing House, 1980.
Human Memory and the Learning Process
(Entire Collection) (13MB)
The papers in this volume deal with fundamental research on human memory, perception and cognition as well as more applied work on school learning and the instructional process. A theme running through all of these papers is a close interplay between theory and experimentation. Whenever possible, the theory is stated in formal terms either as a mathematical model or as a computer program; predictions are then derived from the theory; the predictions are used to design an appropriate experiment; the experiment is conducted and data collected; discrepancies are identified between theoretical predictions and experimental outcomes; the theory is revised to take account of the discrepancies; and the cycle of events is repeated. This cycle characterizes the scientific method whether in psychology or any other field of science. The interplay between theory and experiment is strengthened to the extent that the theory is stated in formal terms and can be used to identify differences between observed and predicted behavior.
It is a great honor and a pleasure for me to have some of my papers translated into Russian and published in the Soviet Union. I have been in close contact with psychologists and mathematicians in the Soviet Union since my first visit there in 1960 and these exchanges have proved to be invaluable. Discussions in the 1960’s with Soviet scientists were influential in my use of control theory as a method for optimizing the instructional process, and the first public lecture that I gave on my theory of long- and short-term memory was in Moscow at the 1968 meetings of the International Congress of Psychology. In recent years, I have maintained close relations with Professor Lomov and other members of the Institute of Psychology of the U.S.S.R. Academy of Sciences in Moscow; members of the institute have been in my laboratory at Stanford University several times and I have been a visitor at the Institute on at least four occasions. The understanding and colleagueship between American psychologists and their Soviet counterparts is as close as that of any two nations. Both the science of psychology and relations between our two countries benefit by this close interchange. I hope that the Soviet readers of this volume will share with me my excitement for research in psychology and that together we can expand the frontiers of the psychological sciences.
Richard C. Atkinson
February 22, 1979