Abstracting Situated Action: Implications for Cognitive Modeling and Interface Design

Alex Kirlik

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter reports a field study in a relatively low-technology work context and a model of observed behavior using a quantitative realization of the original, perception-action version of the lens model presented in 1935 by Tolman and Brunswik. It focuses on the strategies for how both relatively inexperienced and highly experienced cooks managed cooking meat (hamburger patties) on a grill. This cooking study demonstrated the importance of the intimate, closed-loop interdependency between perception and action as a resource for fluent and adaptive behavior. The analysis and modeling approach allows one to represent the closed-loop, mutually informing nature of perception and action without the mathematically convenient yet limiting assumptions of related techniques such as feedback control theory or dynamic systems modeling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdaptive Perspectives on Human-Technology Interaction
Subtitle of host publicationMethods and Models for Cognitive Engineering and Human-Computer Interaction
EditorsAlex Kirlik
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199847693
ISBN (Print)9780195374827
StatePublished - May 2006


  • Action
  • Cognition
  • Grill cooking
  • Interface design
  • Lens model
  • Meat
  • Perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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