Experimental Slips and Human Error

Exploring the Architecture of Volition

  • Bernard J. Baars

Part of the Cognition and Language book series (CALS)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xix
  2. Introduction

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Bernard J. Baars
      Pages 3-34
  3. Theoretical Approaches

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 35-37
    2. James T. Reason
      Pages 71-91
    3. Bernard J. Baars
      Pages 93-120
    4. Lawrence Birnbaum, Gregg Collins
      Pages 121-125
  4. Methods for Inducing Predictable Slips in Speech and Action

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 127-127
    2. Mark E. Mattson, Bernard J. Baars
      Pages 151-193
    3. Jenn-Yeu Chen, Bernard J. Baars
      Pages 217-233
  5. Findings and Theory Derived from Induced Slips

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 235-236
    2. Gary S. Dell, Renee J. Repka
      Pages 237-262
    3. Mark E. Mattson, Bernard J. Baars
      Pages 263-287
    4. Bernard J. Baars, Jack W. Berry, Jonathan Cohen, Gordon H. Bower
      Pages 289-313
  6. Commentary

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 315-315
    2. Abigail J. Sellen, Donald A. Norman
      Pages 317-339
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 341-346

About this book


Whereas most humans spend their time trying to get things right, psycholo­ gists are perversely dedicated to error. Errors are extensively used to in­ vestigate perception, memory, and performance; some clinicians study errors like tea leaves for clues to unconscious motives; and this volume presents the work of researchers who, in an excess of perversity, actually cause people to make predictable errors in speech and action. Some reasons for this oddity are clear. Errors seem to stand at the nexus of many deep-psychological questions. The very concept of error presupposes a goal or criterion by comparison to which an error is an error; and goals bring in the foundation issues of control, motivation, and volition (Baars, 1987, 1988; Wiener, 1961). Errors serve to measure the quality of performance in learning, in expert knowledge, and in brain damage and other dysfunctional states; and by surprising us, they often call attention to phenomena we might otherwise take for granted. Errors also seem to reveal the "natural joints" in perception, language, memory, and problem solving-revealing units that may otherwise be invisible (e. g. , MacKay, 1981; Miller, 1956; Newell & Simon, 1972; Treisman & Gelade, 1980).


Action architecture experience methodology perception psychology reason will

Editors and affiliations

  • Bernard J. Baars
    • 1
  1. 1.The Wright InstituteBerkeleyUSA

Bibliographic information