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Indiana University Bloomington
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Robert Goldstone

Chancellor's Professor Psychological and Brain Sciences
Phone: (812) 855-4853

See also: The "Percepts and Concepts" laboratory


  • Ph.D., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 1991


  • James McKeen Cattell Sabbatical Award, 1997-1998
  • Chase Memorial Award from Carnegie Mellon University for Outstanding Young Researcher in Cognitive Science, 1996
  • APA Division of Experimental Psychology 1995 Young Investigator Award in Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition
  • APA Division of Experimental Psychology 1995 Young Investigator Award in Experimental Psychology: General
  • Marquis Award for Most Outstanding Dissertation in Psychology, University of Michigan, 1991

Professional Experience

  • Associate Editor for Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 1998-1999
  • Gill Fellow in Cognitive Science, 1997-2002

Research Interests

Concept formation

Most of my current research interests involve the representation and learning of concepts. I conduct psychological experiments on people's acquisition of visually presented concepts, interactions between developing concepts, the influence of concepts on perception, and concept specialization/differentiation. I develop computer simulations (often times, neural network models) to model concept formation and the two-way interaction between our conceptual and perceptual systems.

In other lines of research, I study judgment, decision making, and comparison processes involving similarity and analogy. I am also interested in educational applications of cognitive psychology.


My laboratory consists of four rooms in the Psychology building. There are seven Macintosh computers for running human subjects, and additional computers for graduate student use. Our laboratory has been funded by National Institute of Health and National Science Foundation grants.

Dissertation Committee Service

Bold student names indicate a cognitive science standalone student.

Author Dissertation Title Committee
Hockema, S. A.Perception as Prediction (April 2004)Gasser, M. (Co-Chair), Smith, L. (Co-Chair), Goldstone, R., Port, R., Hummel, J.
Desai, R. Modeling Interaction of Syntax and Semantics in Language Acquisition (December 2002) Gasser, M. (Co-Chair), Goldstone, R. (Co-Chair), Port, R., Smith, L.
Rehling, J. A. Letter Spirit (Part Two): Modeling Creativity in A Visual Domain (July 2001)Hofstadter, D. R. (Chair), Gasser, M., Goldstone, R., Port, R. F.
McGraw, G. E. Jr. Letter Spirit (Part One): Emergent High-Level Perception of Letters Using Fluid Concepts (September 1995)Hofstadter, D. R. (Chair), Gasser, M. Goldstone, R., Port, R. F., Rawlins, G. J. E.
Kachergis, George EarleMechanisms for Cross-Situational Learning of Word-Referent Mappings: Empirical and Modeling Evidence (December 2012)Shiffrin, R. (Co-Chair), Yu, C. (Co-Chair), Goldstone, R., Jones, M., Kruschke, J.
Loehrlein, AaronPriming Effects Associated with the Hierarchical Levels Of Classification Systems (March 2012)Jacob, E. (Co-Chair), Goldstone, R. (Co-Chair), Ekbia, H., Ding, Y.
Recchia, GabrielInvestigating the Semantics of Abstract Concepts: Evidence From a Property Generation Game (December 2012)Jones, M. (Chair), Goldstone, R., Kubler, S., Todd, P.
Mahabal, AbhijitSeqsee: A Concept-Centered Architecture for Sequence Perception (March 2010)Hofstadter, D. (Chair), Gasser, M., Goldstone, R., Leake, D.
Place, SkylerNon-Independent Mate Choice in Humans: Deciphering And Utilizing Information in a Social Environment (July 2010) Todd, P. (Co-Chair), Goldstone, R. (Co-Chair), Smith, E., Wasserman, S., West, M.
Thomas, WisdomIncentives, Innovation, and Imitation: Social Learning in a Networked Group (August 2010) Goldstone, R. (Co-Chair), Ostrom, E. (Co-Chair), Collins, K., Gold, J., Smith, E.
Dimperio, EricA Dynamic Model of Planning Behaviors in Multi-Stage Risky Decision Tasks (August 2009)Busemeyer, J., Goldstone, R., Kruschke, J., Scheutz, M.
Hanania, RimaSelective Attention and Attention Shifting in Preschool Children (August 2009)Smith, L. (Co-Chair), Gershkoff-Stowe, L. (Co-Chair), Goldstone, R., Jones, S.
Honey, ChristopherFluctuations & Flows in Large-Scale Brain Networks (April 2009)Townsend, J,. Goldstone, R. (Co-Chair), Beggs, J., Sporns, O. (Co-Chair)
Nelson, AngelaExamining the Co-Evolution of Knowledge and Event Memory (August 2009)Shiffrin, R. (Co-Chair), Goldstone, R. (Co-Chair), Busey, T., James, K.
Roberts, MichaelHuman Collective Behavior: Complex systems properties of self-organizations, coordination, and emergent. (July 2008) Goldstone, R. (Co-Chair), Ostrom, E. (Co-Chair), Smith, E., Todd, P.
Shayan, ShakilaEmergence of Roles in English Canonical Transitive Construction (June 2008) Gasser, M. (Co-Chair), Gershkoff-Stowe, L. (Co-Chair), Leake, D., Goldstone, R., Smith, L.
Theiner, Georg From Extened Minds to Group Minds: Rethinking The Boundaries Of The Mental (July 2008)O’Connor, T. (Co-Chair), Goldstone, R. (Co-Chair), Schmitt, R., Weinberg, J.
Vigo, RonaldoMathematical Principles of Boolean Concept Learning (May 2008)Allen, C. (Co-Chair), Kruschke, J. (Co-Chair), Goldstone, R., Nosofsky, R., Townsend, J.
Gokcesu, Bahriye S.Metaphor Processing and Polysemy (December 2007) Goldstone, R. (Co-Chair), Gasser, M. (Co-Chair), Gershkoff-Stowe L., Jones, M.
Son, Ji Y.Forces of Contextualization and Decontextualization: A Look at Symbols, Experience, and Language (August 2007)Goldstone, R. (Co-Chair), Smith, L (Co-Chair), Gasser, M., Yu, C.
Stanton, RogerDissociations of Classification: Evidence against the Multiple Learning-Systems Hypothesis (August 2007) Nosofsky, R. (Chair), Goldstone, R., James, T., Kruschke, J.
Mason, WinterImplicit Social Influence (August 2007) Smith, E. (Co-Chair), Goldstone, R. (Co-Chair), Tormala, Z., Sporns, O.
Alexander, WillA Real-Time Model of Attention (September 2006) Sporns, O. (Chair), Goldstone, R., Kruschke, J., Yaeger, L.
Foundalis, Harry E.Phaeaco: A Cognitive Architecture Inspired by Bongard’s Problems (May 2006)Hofstadter, D. (Chair), Gasser, M., Goldstone, R., Leake, D.
Weidemann, ChristopheIdentifying brief stimuli: Perceptual, preferential, and decisional aspects (August 2006)Shiffrin, R. (Chair), Gold, J., Goldstone, R., Todd, P.
Paik, Jae HFraction Concepts: A Complex System of Mappings (May 2005) Mix, K. (Co-Chair), Gasser, M., Goldstone, R. (Co-Chair), Smith, L.
Chalmers, DavidToward a Theory of Consciousness (May 1993) Hofstadter, D. (Co-Chair), Dunn, J. (Co-Chair), van Gelder, T., Goldstone, R.
Ross, TravisSteering Social Behavior in Online Video Games: A Calibration and Test of The Rational Reconstruction of Norms in a Multiplayer Dungeon Crawl (November 2013)Castronova, E. (Chair), Lang, A., Goldstone, R., Weaver, A.
Frey, SethComplex Collective Dynamics in Human Higher-Level Reasoning. A Study Over Multiple Methods (August 2013)Goldstone, R. (Chair), Todd, P., Beer, R., Busemeyer, J.
Tamara, CarolinaRoute Learning And Its Interaction With Visual Landmarks (May 2013)Timberlake, W. (chair), Crystal, J., Goldstone, R., Todd, P.