Paul Johnson

Professor Emeritus
Information & Decision Sciences


  • BS 1960
    University of Minnesota

  • PhD 1964
    Johns Hopkins University


  • Decision-making
  • Intelligent systems
  • Knowledge work

Paul Johnson is Carlson professor of Decision Sciences and adjunct professor of Psychology, Computer Science, and Health Informatics. He is a member of the Cognitive Sciences Center as well as the Center for Political Psychology. His research focuses on the study of expertise in complex problem solving and decision-making tasks, decision failures that arise from the misperception or misrepresentation of information (e.g., deception), and the use of knowledge resources and decision technologies in professional and technical work. Professor Johnson and his students have investigated decision-making activities of individuals and organizations in a variety of settings, including health care (diagnosis and best practice in the management of chronic diseases), auditing (fraud detection), semiconductor manufacturing (troubleshooting), software engineering (maintenance), and foreign-exchange trading. Professor Johnson's teaching interests include cognitive science, intelligent systems, knowledge management, and managerial decision-making.

Selected Works

  • Van de Ven, Andrew H., Johnson, Paul E. (2006) Knowledge for Theory and Practice. Academy of Management Review(31)4: 802-821.
  • Grazioli, S., Jamal, K., Johnson, P.E. A Cognitive Approach to Fraud Detection. Journal of Forensic Accounting. June 2006 (7):65-88.
  • Veazie P, Johnson P.E., O'Connor PJ, Rush WA, Sperl-Hillen JM and Anderson LH. Making Improvements in the Management of Patients with Type 2 Diabetes: A Possible Role for the Control of Variation in Glycated Hemoglobin. Medical Hypotheses; 2005, 64, 792-801.
  • Psychological Explorations of Competent Decision-Making, eds. K. Smith, J. Shanteau, and P. Johnson (Cambridge University Press, 2004).
  • Grazioli, S., Smith, K. and Johnson, P.E. Managing risk in social exchange. In K. Smith, J. Shanteau, and P. Johnson (Eds.), Psychological Investigations of Competence in Decision-Making. Cambridge University Press. 2004, pp 71-123.
  • Johnson, P.E., Veazie, Peter J., O?Connor, Patrick J., Potthoff, Sandra J., Kochevar, Laura, Verma, Devesh, and Dutta, Pradyumna. Understanding variation in chronic disease outcomes. Hth Care Mgmt Sci, 2002, 5, 175-189.
  • Johnson, P.E., Grazoli, S., Karim, J. & Berryman, R.G. Detecting deception: adversarial problem solving in a low base-rate world. Cognitive Science, 2001, 25, 355-392.
  • Reed, N.E., Gini, M., & Johnson, P.E (1996). Robust strategies for diagnosing manufacturing defects. Applied Artificial Intelligence, 10, 387-406.
  • Johnson, P.E., Bullemer, P., Hassebrock, F., Fox, P.W., Moller, J.H. When less is more: representation and selective memory in expert problem solving, American J Psychol, 1993; 106(2): 155- 189.
  • Johnson, P.E., Grazioli, S. & Jamal, K. (1993). Fraud detection: Intentionality and deception in cognition. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 18(5), 467-488.
  • Johnson, P.E., Zualkernan, I.A. & Tukey, D. (1993). Types of expertise: An invariant of problem solving. International Journal of Man-Machine Studies, 39, 641-665.
  • Johnson, P.E., Grazioli, S. & Jamal, K. (1992). Success and failure in expert reasoning. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 53, 173-203.
  • Zualkernan, I.A. & Johnson, P.E. (1992). Metaphors of reasoning as problem solving tools. Metaphor and Symbolic Activity, 7(3&4), 157-184.

Current Activities

Current Research

  • Best practices in health care
  • Medical error and the logic of failure
  • Deception and fraud