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Keith Holyoak

Not to be confused with New Zealand politician Keith Holyoake.
Keith James Holyoak
Born (1950-01-16) January 16, 1950
Langley, British Columbia
Residence United States
Citizenship Canadian-American
Fields cognitive science
Alma mater University of British Columbia,
Stanford University
Doctoral advisor Gordon 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.


  • Biography 1
  • Books and recordings 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


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 journal Cognitive Psychology (1995–99). 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

Cognitive Science

  • Holland, J.H., Holyoak, K.J., Nisbett, R.E., & Thagard, P. (1986). Induction: Processes of Inference, Learning, and Discovery. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, ISBN 0-262-58096-9.
  • Holyoak, K.J., & Thagard, P. (1995). Mental Leaps: Analogy in Creative Thought. Cambridge, MA, MIT Press, ISBN 0-262-58144-2.
  • Gentner, D., Holyoak, K.J., & Kokinov, B. (Eds.) (2001). The Analogical Mind: Perspectives from Cognitive Science. Cambridge, MA: 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


  • Holyoak, K.J. (2015). The Gospel According to Judas. Loveland, OH: Dos Madres Press, ISBN 978-1-939929-30-3.
  • Holyoak, K.J. (2012). Foreigner: New English Poems in Chinese Old Style. Loveland, OH: Dos Madres Press, ISBN 978-1-933675-77-0.
  • Holyoak, K.J. (2010). My Minotaur: Selected Poems 1998-2006. Loveland, OH: Dos Madres Press, ISBN 978-1-933675-48-0.
  • Holyoak, K.J. (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).


  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

  • Keith Holyoak's UCLA home page
  • Keith Holyoak's Poetry home page
  • Poems at The New Formalist
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