Peter G. Polson

Personal Homepage
http://psych.colorado.edu/~ppolson/
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Email
Peter.Polson@Colorado.edu

Peter Polson is Professor Emeritus of Psychology and a Faculty Fellow of the Institute of Cognitive Science at University of Colorado, Boulder, where he has been a faculty member since 1970. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Indiana in 1967 and the BS in Industrial Engineering and AB in Psychology from Stanford University in 1961.

The acquisition and transfer of complex cognitive skills has been the main focus of Polson's research interests over his whole academic career. For the last 25 years, he his research has focused on the learning and transfer of skills required to use computer-based systems. PolsonÕs current research is on how information contained in displays supports skilled performance and guides learning by exploration using desktop applications, the World Wide Web, and in cockpits of modern commercial airliners.

In the late 1980's, Polson and his collaborators showed that models based on a simple rule-based system make good quantitative predictions of training time, transfer, and expert performance for a number of standard human-computer interaction tasks.

Later, Polson with colleagues at the University of Colorado developed a methodology, the Cognitive Walkthrough, for performing theory-based evaluations of ease of learning for user interface designs early in the design cycle. The Cognitive Walkthrough is an adaptation of the design walkthrough techniques that have been used for many years in the software engineering community.

In collaboration with Dr. Muneo Kitajima of the National Institute of Bioscience and Human-Technology in Tsukuba, Japan, he has developed a computational model of skilled use of an application with a graphical user interface that explains errors made by experienced users. He has also applied this model to the evaluation of experimental displays for the autoflight systems of modern commercial airliners. The model developed by Kitajima and Polson has also been generalized to describe how people browse for information on the World Wide Web in collaboration with Dr. Marilyn Blackmon of the University of Colorado. They have gone on to develop and successfully evaluate a partially automated version of Cognitive Walkthrough based on the Blackmon-Kitajima-Polson browsing model.

Polson started his aviation-related research in 1989 in collaboration with Dr. Sharon Irving and Capt. Jim Irving, then a pilot for United Airlines. The project developed an innovative training program based on modern theoretical models of complex skill acquisition for basic programming skills for Flight Management Computers (FMC). During the academic year 1994-95, Polson was a National Research Council Senior Research Associate in the Flight Management and Human Factors Division, NASA Ames Research Laboratory, Moffett Field, CA. His last NASA supported research is on the analysis and development of training programs for Flight Management Systems found in modern commercial aircraft. After he retired, Polson consulted with Boeing Commercial Airplane Company on the development of the pilot training program for the Boeing 787.

Polson has been a member of the Association for Computing Machinery's (ACM) Special Interest Group in Computer-Human Interaction (SIGCHI), the American Psychological Association, and the American Psychological Society. He served on the SIGCHI Executive Committee from 1989 to 1993 as Publications Chair (89-93) and Co-Chair (91-93). He served as Chair of the Technical Papers Committee for CHI'91, and he was Co-Chair of the Technical Program Committee for CHI'95. He was a member of the editorial boards of ACM Transactions on Computer Human Interaction and Human Computer Interaction.

Polson's honors include election to the CHI Academy in 2003. He is a Fellow of Division 3 (Experimental Psychology) of American Psychological Association and of the American Psychological Society.

Publication Statistics

Publication period start
1983
Publication period end
2009
Number of co-authors
45

Co-authors
Number of publications with favourite co-authors

Productive Colleagues
Most productive colleagues in number of publications

Publications

John, Bonnie E., Blackmon, Marilyn Hughes, Polson, Peter G., Fennell, Karl, Teo, Leonghwee (2009): Rapid Theory Prototyping: An Example of an Aviation Task. In: Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 53rd Annual Meeting , 2009, . pp. 794-798. http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/hfes/hfproc/2009/00000053/00000012/art00007

Blackmon, Marilyn Hughes, Kitajima, Muneo, Polson, Peter G. (2005): Tool for accurately predicting website navigation problems, non-problems, problem severity. In: Proceedings of ACM CHI 2005 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems , 2005, . pp. 31-40. http://autocww.colorado.edu/~brownr/ ACWW

Feary, M., Sherry, L., Polson, Peter G., Fennel, K. (2003): Incorporating Cognitive Usability into Software Design Processes. In: Stephanidis, Constantine (eds.) Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction June 22-27, 2003, Crete, Greece. pp. 427-431.

Blackmon, Marilyn Hughes, Kitajima, Muneo, Polson, Peter G. (2003): Repairing usability problems identified by the cognitive walkthrough for the web. In: Cockton, Gilbert, Korhonen, Panu (eds.) Proceedings of the ACM CHI 2003 Human Factors in Computing Systems Conference April 5-10, 2003, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, USA. pp. 497-504.

Blackmon, Marilyn Hughes, Polson, Peter G., Kitajima, Muneo, Lewis, Clayton H. (2002): Cognitive walkthrough for the web. In: Terveen, Loren (eds.) Proceedings of the ACM CHI 2002 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems Conference April 20-25, 2002, Minneapolis, Minnesota. pp. 463-470.

Kitajima, Muneo, Blackmon, M. H., Polson, Peter G. (2000): A Comprehension-based Model of Web Navigation and Its Application to Web Usability Analysi. In: Proceedings of the HCI00 Conference on People and Computers XIV , 2000, . pp. 357-374.

Kellogg, Wendy A., Lewis, Clayton H., Polson, Peter G. (2000): Introduction to This Special Issue on New Agendas for Human-Computer Interaction. In Human-Computer Interaction, 15 (2) pp. 69-74.

Kieras, David E., Polson, Peter G. (1999): An Approach to the Formal Analysis of User Complexity. In International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 51 (2) pp. 405-434.

Kitajima, Muneo, Polson, Peter G. (1998): Knowledge Required for Understanding Task-Oriented Instructions. In: Third Asian Pacific Computer and Human Interaction July 15-17, 1998, Kangawa, Japan. pp. 19-24. http://csdl.computer.org/comp/proceedings/apchi/1998/8347/00/83470019abs.htm

Kitajima, Muneo, Polson, Peter G. (1997): A Comprehension-Based Model of Exploration. In Human-Computer Interaction, 12 (4) pp. 345-389.

Kitajima, Muneo, Polson, Peter G. (1997): Mapping Instructions onto Actions: A Comprehension-Based Model of Display-Based Human-Comp. In: Smith, Michael J., Salvendy, Gavriel, Koubek, Richard J. (eds.) HCI International 1997 - Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction - Volume 2 August 24-29, 1997, San Francisco, California, USA. pp. 83-86.

Kitajima, Muneo, Polson, Peter G. (1996): A Comprehension-Based Model of Exploration. In: Tauber, Michael J., Bellotti, Victoria, Jeffries, Robin, Mackinlay, Jock D., Nielsen, Jakob (eds.) Proceedings of the ACM CHI 96 Human Factors in Computing Systems Conference April 14-18, 1996, Vancouver, Canada. pp. 324-331. http://www.acm.org/sigchi/chi96/proceedings/papers/Kitajima/mk_txt.htm

Kitajima, Muneo, Polson, Peter G. (1995): A Comprehension-Based Model of Correct Performance and Errors in Skilled, Display-Based, H. In International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 43 (1) pp. 65-99.

Kitajima, Muneo, Polson, Peter G. (1995): Mechanisms of Slips in Display-Based Human-Computer Interaction: A Model-Based Analysis. In: Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction July 9-14, 1995, Tokyo, Japan. pp. 515-520.

Rieman, John, Lewis, Clayton H., Young, Richard M., Polson, Peter G. (1994): "Why is a Raven Like a Writing Desk?" Lessons in Interface Consistency and Analogical Reas. In: Adelson, Beth, Dumais, Susan, Olson, Judith S. (eds.) Proceedings of the ACM CHI 94 Human Factors in Computing Systems Conference April 24-28, 1994, Boston, Massachusetts. pp. 438-444. http://www.acm.org/pubs/articles/proceedings/chi/191666/p438-rieman/p438-rieman.pdf

Lee, Adrienne Y., Foltz, Peter W., Polson, Peter G. (1994): Memory for Task-Action Mappings: Mnemonics, Regularity and Consistency. In International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 40 (5) pp. 771-794.

Irving, Sharon, Polson, Peter G., Irving, J. E. (1994): A GOMS Analysis of the Advanced Automated Cockpit. In: Adelson, Beth, Dumais, Susan, Olson, Judith S. (eds.) Proceedings of the ACM CHI 94 Human Factors in Computing Systems Conference April 24-28, 1994, Boston, Massachusetts. pp. 344-350. http://www.acm.org/pubs/articles/proceedings/chi/191666/p344-irving/p344-irving.pdf

Henderson, Austin, Polson, Peter G., Miller, Jim, Atwood, Michael E. (1993): Chairs\' Column. In ACM SIGCHI Bulletin, 25 (4) pp. 4-5.

Henderson, Austin, Polson, Peter G. (1993): Chairs\' Column. In ACM SIGCHI Bulletin, 25 (3) pp. 3-6.

Henderson, Austin, Polson, Peter G. (1993): Chairs\' Column. In ACM SIGCHI Bulletin, 25 (2) pp. 2-4.

Henderson, Austin, Polson, Peter G. (1993): Chairs\' Column. In ACM SIGCHI Bulletin, 25 (1) pp. 3-4.

Kitajima, Muneo, Polson, Peter G. (1992): A Computational Model of Skilled Use of a Graphical User Interface. In: Bauersfeld, Penny, Bennett, John, Lynch, Gene (eds.) Proceedings of the ACM CHI 92 Human Factors in Computing Systems Conference June 3-7, 1992, Monterey, California. pp. 241-249. http://www.acm.org/pubs/articles/proceedings/chi/142750/p241-kitajima/p241-kitajima.pdf

Nilsen, Erik, Jong, HeeSen, Olson, Judith S., Polson, Peter G. (1992): Method Engineering: From Data to Model to Practice. In: Bauersfeld, Penny, Bennett, John, Lynch, Gene (eds.) Proceedings of the ACM CHI 92 Human Factors in Computing Systems Conference June 3-7, 1992, Monterey, California. pp. 313-320. http://www.acm.org/pubs/articles/proceedings/chi/142750/p313-nilsen/p313-nilsen.pdf

Polson, Peter G., Lewis, Clayton H., Rieman, John, Wharton, Cathleen (1992): Cognitive Walkthroughs: A Method for Theory-Based Evaluation of User Interfaces. In International Journal of Man-Machine Studies, 36 (5) pp. 741-773.

Rieman, John, Davies, Susan, Hair, D. Charles, Esemplare, Mary, Polson, Peter G., Lewis, Clayton H. (1991): An Automated Cognitive Walkthrough. In: Robertson, Scott P., Olson, Gary M., Olson, Judith S. (eds.) Proceedings of the ACM CHI 91 Human Factors in Computing Systems Conference April 28 - June 5, 1991, New Orleans, Louisiana. pp. 427-428. http://www.acm.org/pubs/articles/proceedings/chi/108844/p427-rieman/p427-rieman.pdf

Lee, Adrienne Y., Foltz, Peter W., Polson, Peter G. (1991): Consistency versus Mnemonics in Text Editor Command Sets. In ACM SIGCHI Bulletin, 23 (4) pp. 41.

Card, Stuart K., Polson, Peter G. (1990): Introduction to this Special Issue on Foundations of Human-Computer Interaction. In Human-Computer Interaction, 5 (2) pp. 119-123.

Lewis, Clayton H., Polson, Peter G., Wharton, Cathleen, Rieman, John (1990): Testing a Walkthrough Methodology for Theory-Based Design of Walk-Up-and-Use Interfaces. In: Carrasco, Jane, Whiteside, John (eds.) Proceedings of the ACM CHI 90 Human Factors in Computing Systems Conference , 1990, Seattle, Washington,USA. pp. 235-242.

Polson, Peter G., Lewis, Clayton H. (1990): Theory-Based Design for Easily Learned Interfaces. In Human-Computer Interaction, 5 (2) pp. 191-220.

Doane, Stephanie M., Polson, Peter G., Kintsch, Walter (1990): Design Issues for Graphical UNIX User Interfaces. In: D., Woods,, E., Roth, (eds.) Proceedings of the Human Factors Society 34th Annual Meeting , 1990, Santa Monica, USA. pp. 272-276.

Bovair, Susan, Kieras, David E., Polson, Peter G. (1990): The Acquisition and Performance of Text-Editing Skill: A Cognitive Complexity Analysis. In Human-Computer Interaction, 5 (1) pp. 1-48.

Lee, Adrienne Y., Polson, Peter G., Bailey, Wayne A. (1989): Learning and Transfer of Measurement Tasks. In: Bice, Ken, Lewis, Clayton H. (eds.) Proceedings of the ACM CHI 89 Human Factors in Computing Systems Conference April 30 - June 4, 1989, Austin, Texas. pp. 115-120.

Butler, Keith A., Bennett, John, Polson, Peter G., Karat, John (1989): Report on the Workshop on Analytical Models. In ACM SIGCHI Bulletin, 20 (4) pp. 63-79.

Polson, Peter G. (1989): Summary of the CHI'89 Doctoral Consortium. In: Bice, Ken, Lewis, Clayton H. (eds.) Proceedings of the ACM CHI 89 Human Factors in Computing Systems Conference April 30 - June 4, 1989, Austin, Texas. pp. 393-394.

Atwood, Michael E., Fischer, Gerhard, Gray, Wayne D., Polson, Peter G. (1989): Theoretical Models for System Design. In: Proceedings of the Human Factors Society 33rd Annual Meeting , 1989, . pp. 278-280.

Engelbeck, George, Polson, Peter G. (1988): An Interference Theory Explanation of Retention Errors. In ACM SIGCHI Bulletin, 19 (3) pp. 61-63.

Foltz, Peter W., Davies, Susan E., Polson, Peter G., Kieras, David E. (1988): Transfer between Similar Menu Systems. In ACM SIGCHI Bulletin, 19 (3) pp. 63-65.

Foltz, Peter W., Davies, Susan, Polson, Peter G., Kieras, David E. (1988): Transfer Between Menu Systems. In: Soloway, Elliot, Frye, Douglas, Sheppard, Sylvia B. (eds.) Proceedings of the ACM CHI 88 Human Factors in Computing Systems Conference June 15-19, 1988, Washington, DC, USA. pp. 107-112.

Polson, Peter G., Bovair, Susan, Kieras, David E. (1987): Transfer between text editors. In: Graphics Interface 87 (CHI+GI 87) April 5-9, 1987, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. pp. 27-32.

Campbell, Robert L., Polson, Peter G., Whiteside, John (1987): Psychology and design: Contrasting approaches. In: Graphics Interface 87 (CHI+GI 87) April 5-9, 1987, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. pp. 89-91.

Bennett, John, Lorch, Douglas J., Kieras, David E., Polson, Peter G. (1987): Developing a User Interface Technology for Use in Industry. In: Bullinger, Hans-Jorg, Shackel, Brian (eds.) INTERACT 87 - 2nd IFIP International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction September 1-4, 1987, Stuttgart, Germany. pp. 21-26.

Polson, Peter G., Kieras, David E. (1985): A Quantitative Model of the Learning and Performance of Text Editing Knowledge. In: Borman, Lorraine, Curtis, Bill (eds.) Proceedings of the ACM CHI 85 Human Factors in Computing Systems Conference April 14-18, 1985, San Francisco, California. pp. 207-212.

Kieras, David E., Polson, Peter G. (1985): An Approach to the Formal Analysis of User Complexity. In International Journal of Man-Machine Studies, 22 (4) pp. 365-394.

Kieras, David E., Polson, Peter G. (1983): A Generalized Transition Network Representation for Interactive Systems. In: Smith, Raoul N., Pew, Richard W., Janda, Ann (eds.) Proceedings of the ACM CHI 83 Human Factors in Computing Systems Conferenc December 12-15, 1983, Boston, Massachusetts, United States. pp. 103-106.

(1995): Human-Computer Interface Design: Success Stories, Emerging Methods, and Real-World Context, Rudisill, Marianne, Lewis, Clayton H., Polson, Peter G., McKay, Tim (eds.), Morgan Kaufmann Publishers,