About Peter J. Patsula

Peter J. Patsula has been called: 

  • Jakob Nielsen's evil twin (upcoming column in Alertbox ... just kidding).

Fishing on the Beach in Trinidad 1966.

Peter J. Patsula, Ph.D founded Patsula Media in 1997, an Internet company dedicated to providing usable, inspirational, and educational media. Currently, the chief web properties are smbtn.com and usefo.com.

Patsula has been teaching around the world since 1987 and is currently the Director of Education Technology at The Glenelg School of Abu Dhabi. In 2007, he completed his doctorate, specializing in Cognitive Science and Human Computer Interaaction at Nanyang Technological University (NTU), from the School of Communications, Division of Information Studies. His research interests include:

  • Mental Models (click here for the best mental model site on the web) 

  • Human Computer Interaction (HCI

  • Cognitive Psychology applications to information design

  • Heuristics (for enhancing usability)

His research: 

Episodic model imprinting is a new theoretical framework under development which attempts to explain how new mental models are created in working memory. It examines the nature of consistency, availability, learnability, and schema acquisition, and is derived in part from Dual-process theory, (Evans, 2003), Cognitive Load Theory (Sweller, 1988), Levels of Processing theory (Craik & Lockhart, 1972), Recognition Primed Decision-making (RPD) theory (Klein, 1998), Cañas and Antolí's (1998) research on mental models, Facets of WM theory (Oberauer et al. 2000; 2003), "Modes of Learning" schema theory (Rumelhart & Norman, 1978; 1981). The term episodic model was first used by Brewer (1987).   

This research was also inspired by Ruth Byrne's (Dublin) and Philip Johnson-Laird's  (Princeton)."The Mental Model Theory of Deduction. Of particular interest is a phenomenon predicted by the second assumption of Byrne and Johnson-Laird's theory  -- "The Principle of Truth" --  which postulates that "reasoners normally represent only what is true, and not what is false, in their models of the premises." 

EMI predicts that reasoners will develop new models based on what is "consistent" and "available" with what  they already know, feel, and believe, and most importantly, with new information sources that reasoners can "structure" or "chunk."   

EMI is being conceptualized for applications to interface, website, and information design. Its most important theoretical assumptions are: (1) "the coordination of associations made into coherent structures, facilitates retention" and (2) "information processing in working memory is directed towards creating a single coherent episodic model that exerts a low cognitive load on the processing system."

About Patsula:

Patsula also has a masters from Athabasca University on "Web Design for Effective Online Training and Instruction", which produced a 200+ evaluation checklist (WeBIC) for the effective analysis, design,  development, implementation, and evaluation (ADDIE Model) of online instructional materials.

To contact email:

Email to: usefo(at)patsula.com