Hi Martin,

I would say the Hoc book probably is the best single source, 
despite its age. (This is of course the reason for my recent 
efforts to get it available online). It is easily readable by a 
general interest audience, in my opinion, despite the fact that 
I plan to use it as a textbook for a postgraduate course.

For more recent research, if you have an hour to spare, browsing
the titles and abstracts of the papers presented at the PPIG
conferences over the past few years should give you a reasonable
overview of the kinds of topic that currently interest
psychology of programming researchers.

There are a few more specialist overviews of particular concerns
in PPIG, such as Ko et al's survey of end-user software
engineering, or my 2001 overview with Good, Whitley and Petre of
visual programming languages. If you have a particular reason 
for your interest, try posting to the list, and someone may have 
a survey or overview to recommend.

A general psychology textbook will give an introduction to
psychology (perhaps emphasising cognitive, social, clinical
kinds), but is unlikely to have much to say about psychology of


> Hi all,
> Does anyone have a good suggestion for an overview of the psychology of 
> programming?
> I'm an experienced programmer who is also an aspiring language 
> developer, but my last study of programming languages was in college 20 
> years ago.  I've never read up on the psychology of programming, 
> although I think the topic is fascinating from what little I've heard.
> Is the Hoc book still the best single source?  Is there a more recent 
> textbook or review article?
> I don't have a huge amount of time to spend coming up to speed, so a 
> textbook is about the most I could digest.  A handful of papers would do 
> just as well.
> Best,
> Martin
> -- 
> The Open University is incorporated by Royal Charter (RC 000391), an exempt 
> charity in England & Wales and a charity registered in Scotland (SC 038302).

Alan Blackwell
Reader in Interdisciplinary Design, University of Cambridge
Further details from www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~afb21/

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