Yingrui Yang

Associate Professor & Graduate Program Director, Cognitive Science

Yingrui Yang is an Associate Professor in the Department of Cognitive Science, with a joint appointment in the Lally School of Management & Technology.  Dr. Yang received his doctorate in Experimental Psychology from New York University in 1995.  Since 1974, he also studied or worked at Beijing Normal University, Peking University, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (Beijing), the University of Tennessee (Knoxville), New York University, Princeton University, Educational Testing Service, the United States Air Force Information Laboratory, and Tsinghua University.

Dr. Yang’s research domains include economic mechanics, mental mechanics, psychology of reasoning, and higher cognition modeling (reasoning, decision making, and game theoretic interactions).

“Currently, economics and cognitive science are heavily rooted in Newtonian physics, successfully borrowing a great deal of modeling tools from it. This is a great achievement. You do not need quantum mechanics or theories of relativity to build a house or bridge. Nevertheless, no one would deny the importance of modern theoretical physics. I believe many intellectuals have realized the need to go beyond the limitations of the Newtonian tradition for means of social science research. The big question is how to do it and how to do it right. I am interested integrating economics and cognitive science by applying theoretical physics from a modeling perspective.”   

He has published in professional journals such as Psychological Review, Journal of Experimental Psychology (General; Applied), Memory & Cognition, Cognitive Science, Journal of Experimental & Theoretical Artificial Intelligence, Logic and Logical Philosophy, and has recently completed a book entitled Modern Principles of Economic Mechanics: Qualitative Initiatives toward Integrating Economics, Cognitive Science, and Theoretical Physics, Volume I.


Ph.D., Experimental Pscyhology, New York University

M.S., Philosophy/Logic, University of Tennessee

B.S., Mathematics, Beijing Normal University


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