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Keith Holyoak
cognitive psychology analogy children

1. Introduction

Keith James Holyoak (born January 16, 1950) is a Canadian-American researcher in cognitive psychology and cognitive science, working on human thinking and reasoning. Holyoak's work focuses on the role of analogy in thinking.[1] His work showed how analogy can be used to enhance learning of new abstract concepts by both children and adults,[2] as well as how reasoning breaks down in cases of brain damage.[3]

Holyoak is also a poet. He has published four collections of his own poems, My Minotaur, Foreigner, The Gospel According to Judas, and Oracle Bones, as well as a collection of translations of classical Chinese poetry by Li Bai and Du Fu, Facing the Moon.

2. Biography

Holyoak was born in Langley, 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. His doctoral advisor was Gordon Bower.

He was on the faculty of the University of Michigan from 1976 to 1986, and then joined the faculty of the University of California, Los Angeles, where he is a Distinguished Professor of Psychology.

He served as Chair of the Governing Board of the Cognitive Science Society (1994–95) and Editor of the journals Cognitive Psychology (1995–99) and Psychological Review (from 2016). Holyoak is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He received a Fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation in 1991,[4] and a James McKeen Cattell Fellowship in 1999. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Association for Psychological Science, the Cognitive Science Society, and the Society of Experimental Psychologists.

3. Books and Recordings

3.1. Cognitive Science

  • Holyoak, K. J. (2019). The Spider’s Thread: Metaphor in Mind, Brain, and Poetry. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, ISBN:978-0-26-203922-2.
  • Holland, J.H., Holyoak, K.J., Nisbett, R.E., & Thagard, P. (1986). Induction: Processes of Inference, Learning, and Discovery. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, ISBN:0-262-58096-9.
  • Holyoak, K.J., & Thagard, P. (1995). Mental Leaps: Analogy in Creative Thought. Cambridge, Massachusetts, MIT Press, ISBN:0-262-58144-2.
  • Gentner, D., Holyoak, K.J., & Kokinov, B. (Eds.) (2001). The Analogical Mind: Perspectives from Cognitive Science. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, ISBN:0-262-57139-0
  • Holyoak, K.J., & Morrison, R.G. (Eds.) (2005). The Cambridge Handbook of Thinking and Reasoning. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press , ISBN:0-521-53101-2
  • Holyoak, K.J., & Morrison, R.G. (Eds.) (2012). The Oxford Handbook of Thinking and Reasoning. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, ISBN:978-0-19-973468-9

3.2. Poetry

  • Holyoak, K. (2019). Oracle Bones: Poems from the Time of Misrule.. Seattle, WA: [Goldfish Press], ISBN:978-0-9787975-2-2.
  • Holyoak, K. (2015). The Gospel According to Judas. Loveland, OH: Dos Madres Press, ISBN:978-1-939929-30-3.
  • Holyoak, K. (2012). Foreigner: New English Poems in Chinese Old Style. Loveland, OH: Dos Madres Press, ISBN:978-1-933675-77-0.
  • Holyoak, K. (2010). My Minotaur: Selected Poems 1998–2006. Loveland, OH: Dos Madres Press, ISBN:978-1-933675-48-0.
  • Holyoak, K. (translator) (2007). Facing the Moon: Poems of Li Bai and Du Fu. Durham, NH: Oyster River Press, ISBN:978-1-882291-04-5.
  • Keith Holyoak's Descent. Broken Electric Records (2006).
  • Poems of Li Bai. Broken Electric Records (2007).
  • Poems of Du Fu. Broken Electric Records (2009).

4. Selected Publications

  • Mental leaps: Analogy in creative thought.[5]
  • Analogical problem solving[6]
  • Schema induction and analogical transfer[7]
  • Induction: Processes of Inference, Learning, and Discovery[8]
  • Pragmatic reasoning schemas[9]
  • Analogical mapping by constraint satisfaction[10]
Further Reading
In this part, we encourage you to list the link of papers wrote by the character, or published reviews/articles about his/her academic contributions. Edit


  1. Gick, M. L., & Holyoak, K. J. (1980). "Analogical Problem Solving." Cognitive Psychology 12: 306-355.
  2. Richland, L. E., Zur, O., & Holyoak, K. J. (2007). "Cognitive Supports for Analogy in the Mathematics Classroom." Science 316: 1128-1129.
  3. Waltz, J. A., et al. (1999). "A System for Relational Reasoning in Human Prefrontal Cortex." Psychological Science 10: 119-125.
  4. See list of Guggenheim Fellows on the Guggenheim Foundation website.
  5. "PsycNET" (in en). 
  6. Gick, Mary L.; Holyoak, Keith J. (1980-07-01). "Analogical problem solving". Cognitive Psychology 12 (3): 306–355. doi:10.1016/0010-0285(80)90013-4. ISSN 0010-0285.
  7. Gick, Mary L.; Holyoak, Keith J. (1983-01-01). "Schema induction and analogical transfer". Cognitive Psychology 15 (1): 1–38. doi:10.1016/0010-0285(83)90002-6. ISSN 0010-0285. 
  8. Holland, J. H.; Holyoak, K. J.; Nisbett, R. E.; Thagard, P. R.; Smoliar, S. W. (1987). "Induction: Processes of Inference, Learning, and Discovery". IEEE Expert 2 (3): 92–93. doi:10.1109/MEX.1987.4307100. ISSN 0885-9000.
  9. Cheng, Patricia W; Holyoak, Keith J (1985-10-01). "Pragmatic reasoning schemas". Cognitive Psychology 17 (4): 391–416. doi:10.1016/0010-0285(85)90014-3. ISSN 0010-0285. PMID 4064622.
  10. Holyoak, Keith J.; Thagard, Paul (1989). "Analogical Mapping by Constraint Satisfaction" (in en). Cognitive Science 13 (3): 295–355. doi:10.1207/s15516709cog1303_1. ISSN 1551-6709.
Name: Keith Holyoak
Born: Jan 1950
Langley, British Columbia
Title: Researcher in cognitive psychology and cognitive science
Affiliation: Unknown
Honor: Unknown
Subjects: Others
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Update Date: 23 Nov 2022
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