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Information and uncertainty in a cumulative science of behavior: 25 years after Broadbent’s Decision and Stress
Duncan, J.
American Journal of Psychology, 109, 617-655
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This paper is a 25-year retrospective review of Broadbent's Decision and Stress and its impact on modern cognitive science. Broadbent used fundamental ideas of statistical decision based on noisy evidence to produce detailed, integrated accounts of vigilance, selective perception, expectancy, choice reaction time, primary memory and a variety of stresses including noise, sleep loss and alcohol. The review shows how these fundamental ideas have remained in modern work, reflecting a science that has a truly cumulative element. In part this reflects Broadbent's epistemology: his view that theory could only develop through progressive addition of general, experimentally-determined constraints. With the modern emphasis on modularity there is decreased emphasis on theoretical integration through general principles. In this respect, we may still have much to learn from Decision and Stress.