A few decades ago, when the science of cognition was in its infancy, the early textbooks on cognition began with perception and attention and ended with memory.
So-called higher-level cognition—the mysterious, complicated realm of thinking and reasoning—was simply left out. Things changed—any good cognitive text (and there arc many) devotes several chapters to topics such as categorization, various types of reasoning, judgment and decision making, and problem solving.
As the new century began, we noticed that unlike fields such as perception or memory, the field of thinking and reasoning lacked a true Handbook—a book meant to be kept close “at hand” by those involved in the field, particularly those new to it. In response, we edited the Cambridge Handbook of Drinking and Reasoning (200$).
Our aim was to bring together top researchers to write chapters each of which summarized the basic concepts and findings for a major topic, sketch its history, and give a sense of the directions in which research is currently heading.
The Handbook provided quick overviews for experts in each topic area, and more important for experts in allied topic areas (as few researchers can keep up with the scientific literature over the full breadth of the field of thinking and reasoning).
Even more crucially, this Handbook was meant to provide an entry point into the field for the next generation of researchers, by providing a text for use in classes on thinking and reasoning designed for graduate students and upper-level undergraduates.