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Brunswik Symmetry:A Golden Key Concept

Werner W. Wittmann
Mannheim, Germany

As I told those who attended the 14th meeting at Dallas, I'm deeply convinced that Brunswikian concepts have consequences and implications far beyond their success stories in judgment and decision research.

Fortunately, these oral promises are now written down and published in plain English-Wittmann, W. W., & S, H.-M. (1999). Investigating the paths between working memory, intelligence, knowledge, and complex problem-solving performances via Brunswik symmetry. In P. L. Ackerman, P. C. Kyllonen, & R. D. Roberts (Eds.), Learning and individual differences: Process, traits, and content determinants (pp. 77-108). Washington, DC: APA-books.

During the last few years I have tried to instill Brunswikian ideas in as many people as possible and proudly learned that John Nesselroade and Jack McArdle (1997) demonstrate the importance of these ideas in causal modeling.

Jan-Eric Gustafsson invited me to contribute to a symposium at the 27th International Congress of Psychology, July 23-28, 2000, in Stockholm. My talk is titled: "A Bright Future for Intelligence Research Under the Scrutiny of Brunswik Symmetry."

This fits well with a paper I have started writing: "Brunswik Symmetry: A Golden Key Concept for Successful Psychological Research." There I try to shed new light, for example, on the Epstein/Mischel controversy in personality research, the attitude/behavior relationship in social psychology, the cross-level fallacy in social sciences, the apple and oranges problem in meta-analysis, the irritating zero-effect problem in program evaluation, looking in the wrong direction in improving on predictability, successes and limits of simple heuristics, and so on. In my eyes all these topics can be related to Brunswik symmetry and its violations.

I'm especially grateful to Gerd Gigerenzer and his team for their willingness to organize the Y2K Brunswik Society meeting at the Max-Planck Institute in Berlin, July 20-22.

Looking forward to meeting many of you next year in Europe.

Contact Werner W. Wittmann

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