How Humans Process Uncertain Knowledge: An Introduction

  • Robert F. Hink
  • David L. Woods


The questions of how humans process uncertain information is important to the development of knowledge-based systems in term of both knowledge acquisition and knowledge representation. This article reviews three bodies of psychological research that address this question: human perception, human probabilistic and statistical judgement, and human choice behavior. The general conclusion is that human behavior under certainty is often suboptimal and sometimes even fallacious. Suggestions for knowledge engineers in detecting and obviating such errors are discussed. The requirements for a system designed to reduce the effects of human factors in the processing of uncertain knowledge are introduced.