In Memory Of


In Memory Of… Kenneth Hammond

Honoring scientists who have made important and lasting contributions to the sciences of mind, brain, and behavior.

Kenneth Hammond, PhD (1917 – 2015)
Professor Emeritus of Psychology
Former Director of the Center for Judgment and Policy
University of Colorado at Boulder

Kenneth R. Hammond, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, was former director of the Center for Judgment and Policy at the University of Colorado at Boulder. His path-breaking theoretical and empirical research extended the probabilistic functionalism of Egon Brunswik to the study of human judgment. Hammond proposed a general framework for the study of human judgment, Social Judgment Theory (SJT), which recognizes that uncertainty creates the need for judgments to be based on multiple fallible indicators, and explores the implications of judgment processes for interpersonal learning, disagreement, conflict, and social policy. In a series of remarkable papers during the 1960s and 1970s, Hammond adapted and extended Brunswik’s Lens Model to the study of individual judgment, interpersonal learning, and cognitive conflict, placing his own distinctive stamp on the field, but never failing to recognize and champion Brunswik’s ideas. He edited the commemorative volume, The Psychology of Egon Brunswik in 1966 and in 1983 founded the Brunswik Society, which has met annually ever since and is a forum for the discussion of work by hundreds of researchers from around the world. In 2001, Hammond co-edited The Essential Brunswik: Beginnings, Explications, Applications, which contains a collection of Egon Brunswik’s papers together with commentaries. Building on Brunswik, Hammond introduced Cognitive Continuum Theory (CCT), which recognizes that intuition and analysis define a continuum rather than a dichotomy, proposes a parallel continuum for tasks, and links the two. CCT is the first comprehensive theory of the relation between task properties and cognition.

Ken Hammond demonstrated a commitment to scholarship and placing research on judgment and decision making in its proper context in the history of thinking about how people cope with complex, uncertain environments. This was matched by his commitment to integrating diverse research paradigms and to improving the methodological and theoretical foundation of work on judgment and decision making. His work was distinguished by an uncommon ability to recognize the practical implications of theory and research and by his attempts to apply research to the improvement of public policy decisions. His 1996 book Human Judgment and Social Policy: Irreducible Uncertainty, Inevitable Error, and Unavoidable Injustice, won the 1997 Outstanding Research Publication Award from the American Educational Research Association. In 2007, Beyond Rationality: The Search for Wisdom in a Troubled Time explored the tension between theories of correspondence, whereby arguments correspond with reality, and coherence, whereby arguments strive to be internally consistent. He argued for a middle approach — particularly in matters of policy — that draws from both modes of thought and therefore avoids the blunders of either extreme.

Ken Hammond was born in San Francisco, California in 1917. He received his BA, MA, and PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. In 1948, he accepted an appointment in the Department of Psychology at the University of Colorado, Boulder, where he taught until his retirement in 1987. There, he co-founded the Institute of Behavioral Science and founded the Center for Research on Judgment and Policy. He was a visiting professor at the Universities of Hawaii, Berkeley, and Arizona, as well as a visiting scholar at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis and the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center. His research was supported by the National Science Foundation, the U. S. Public Health Service, the Army Research Institute, the Office of Naval Research, the Commonwealth Fund, and other private foundations. In 1982, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Uppsala, Sweden. In 1987-88, he served as the second President of the Society for Judgment and Decision Making.

Over the course of his illustrious career, he has published over 100 articles, written seven books, and edited five. The importance of his contribution to cognitive theory continues to be manifest in the work of his students and colleagues in such disparate fields as medical decision making, human factors, public policy analysis, group decision and negotiation, educational research, social work, human technology interaction, and weather forecasting.



Individuals Honoring Kenneth Hammond: 

* Leonard Adelman, George Mason University
Barry F. Anderson, Portland State University
Elise Axelrad
Barry H. Beith, HumanCentric
Lee Cooper, UCLA
Neal V. Dawson, Case Western Reserve University
Jack Dowie, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
John S. Gillis, Oregon State University
Robert M. Hamm, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
Robin M. Hogarth, Pompeu Fabra University
R. James Holzworth, University of Connecticut
Marc Jekel, University of Göttingen 
* Dick Joyce,
University of London
Alexander C. Kirlik, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Kathleen Mosier, San Francisco State University
* Jeryl Mumpower, Texas A&M University
Barbara Reilly, Georgia State University
Wendy A. Rogers, Georgia Institute of Technology
Lars Sjödahl, Lund University
* Thomas R. Stewart, State University of New York, Albany
Thomas G. Tape, University of Nebraska Medical Center

* The FABBS Foundation would like to thank Dr. Leonard Adelman, Dr. Dick Joyce, Dr. Jeryl Mumpower, and Dr. Thomas R. Stewart for nominating Dr. Hammond for this honor and for leading the effort to spread the word about his nomination.


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