Cognitive, Social & Information Science Theory in Health Informatics Research


Research in Health Informatics (HI) is generally applied in nature. However, as the field grows and matures, there is a growing need to develop its theoretical foundation. The body of knowledge and theory in HI stems from diverse disciplines as Information Science, Computer Science, Cognitive Sciences and Human Computer Interaction, Communication, Management Information Systems, Social Psychology, and Sociology. The purpose of this course is to expose students to theories from the above disciplines that have informed, or could possibly inform, research in HI. The course will be delivered as a graduate seminar and students will select theories, present them to the class, and discuss their potential use in health informatics research.


At the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Describe and explain in-depth, a number of theories from cognitive, social, and information sciences;

  • Explain and discuss how these theories may inform research in Health Informatics, as well as the limitations of these theories and their applicability to Health Informatics.

  • Incorporate theory from cognitive, social, or information sciences into their own HI research as demonstrated, for example, through a theory-informed research proposal.