University of Joensuu
Department of Computer Science

Psychology of Programming

Psychology of Programming (PoP) deals with psychological aspects of programming and tries to understand human behavior in all programming tasks -- such as design, coding, and debugging -- and to provide tools that help programmers in these tasks and enhances learning of the associated skills. Psychology of programming entertains a broad spectrum of research approaches, from theoretical perspectives drawing on psychological theory to empirical perspectives grounded in real-world software engineering experience.

At the Department of Computer Science, we have a long tradition in the psychology of programming. Professor Jorma Sajaniemi started teaching and research in this area in 1980's and has continued this research line since then. The first investigations concentrated on spreadsheets, then came multiple-view editing, and the latest research interests concern roles of variables -- a notion invented in Joensuu.

In 2000, the department was one of the founding organizations of Connet, a multidisciplinary virtual university program focusing on the research and education of cognitive science, cognitive ICT and cognitive technology organized currently by eight Finnish universities. Through Connet, we can offer Cognitive science as a minor subject in our university.

We have a modern Cognition Laboratory, CogLab, for practical experimentation in psychology of programming, and for usability testing of software products. The laboratory is equipped with three different eye-tracking systems, several video cameras, a separate control room, and modern data analysis tools.

The long research tradition, special courses in the psychology of programming within Computer science, the strong cognitive science background provided by the Connet network, and a well-equipped Cognition Laboratory make Joensuu an exceptional site for studies in cognition of programming -- not only in the Finnish scale but world-wide, also.

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Last updated: 29.8.2011

saja@cs.joensuu.fi