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socio-organizational Church-Turing hypothesis

The recognition that organizations perform, among other things an information-processing role, and the supposition that this means we are likely to see similar structural elements and processes in the physical and social aspects of the organizations as we do in electronic computers. See:http://www.hcibook.com/alan/topics/ecology/

spreading activation

This is a computational process that determines activation values over a set of interassociated cognitive structures. The spread of activation from one cognitive structure to another is determined by weighting values on associations among chunks. Activation values indicate degree of relevance to ongoing cognitive processes.


In computing, this usually refers to the inner memory of a computer at a particular point of time, but more generally it is that in the present that encapsulates all that of the past that can effect things in the future.

state transition network (STN)

A representation of dynamic systems including states (usually as labeled circles or boxes) and arcs labeled by actions that form transitions between the states.

status-event analysis

A collection of informal and formal analysis techniques that focus on the differences and relationships among discrete event phenomena (e.g., a key press, a project deadline) and more continuous status phenomena (e.g., the current mouse position, the weather, the current screen display) See:http://www.hcibook.com/alan/topics/status/

strategies analysis

A way of analyzing work that focuses on different ways that a particular control task might be carried out. An analytic phase of cognitive work analysis.


See state transition network.


A goal that must be accomplished in service of a higher-level goal. Goals are often expressed as a hierarchy of goals and several levels of subgoals. The lowest level of subgoals are accomplished through operators, which are decomposed no further.

symbolic interactionism

Originated in the social psychology of George Herbert Mead and the sociological methodology of Herbert Blumer, this places emphasis on the individual in explanations of the transactions of people and society.

syndetic modeling framework

A framework that looks at the interactions among different kinds of models—in particular, models of system behavior and models of human activity. See Barnard, May, Duke, and Duce (2000).

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