Softening Up Hard Science: Reply to Newell and Card

John M. Carroll, Robert L. Campbell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


A source of intellectual overhead periodically encountered by scientists is the call to be “hard,” to ensure good science by imposing severe methodological strictures. Newell and Card (1985) undertook to impose such strictures on the psychology of human-computer interaction. Although their discussion contributes to theoretical debate in human-computer interaction by setting a reference point, their specific argument fails. Their program is unmotivated, is severely limited, and suffers from these limitations in principle. A top priority for the psychology of human-computer interaction should be the articulation of an alternative explanatory program, one that takes as its starting point the need to understand the real problems involved in providing better computer tools for people to use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-249
Number of pages23
JournalHuman-Computer Interaction
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1986

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Psychology
  • Human-Computer Interaction


Dive into the research topics of 'Softening Up Hard Science: Reply to Newell and Card'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this