Keith Holyoak

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Not to be confused with New Zealand politician Keith Holyoake.
Keith James Holyoak
Born (1950-01-16) January 16, 1950 (age 69)
ResidenceUnited States
Alma materUniversity of British Columbia,
Stanford University
Scientific career
Fieldscognitive science
Doctoral advisorGordon H. Bower

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 three collections of his own poems, My Minotaur, Foreigner and The Gospel According to Judas, as well as a collection of translations of classical Chinese poetry by Li Bai and Du Fu, Facing the Moon.


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 1976-1986, 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 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 of the Society of Experimental Psychologists.

Books and recordings[edit]

Cognitive Science[edit]

  • 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



  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.

External links[edit]