Thanks for the thoughtful response, that perspective makes sense. I take your point that ACT-R is unique in the ways you're describing, and that most cognitive scientists are not working on overarching models of the mind like that. I think maybe our disagreement is about how good/useful of an overarching model ACT-R is? It's definitely not like in physics, where some overarching theories are widely accepted (e.g. the standard model) even by people working on much more narrow topics -- and many of the ones that aren't (e.g. string theory) are still widely k... (read more)
I agree that there isn't an overarching theory at the level of specificity of ACT-R that covers all the different aspects of the mind that cognitive science researchers wish it would cover. And so yes, I can see cognitive scientists saying that there is no such theory, or (more accurately) saying that even though ACT-R is the best-validated one, it's not validated on the particular types of tasks that they're interested in, so therefore they can ignore it.
However, I do think that there's enough of a consensus about some aspects of ACT-R (and o... (read more)
Long-time lurker, first time commenting. Without necessarily disagreeing on any object-level details, I want to give an alternate perspective. I'm a PhD in computational cog sci, have interacted with most of the top cognitive science departments in the US (e.g. through job search, conferences, etc), and I know literally zero people who use ACT-R for anything. It was never mentioned in any of my grad classes, has never been brought up in any talk I've been to -- I don't even know if I've even seen it ever cited in a paper I've read. I know of it, obvi... (read more)
That's a very good point, CounterBlunder, and I should have highlighted that as well. It is definitely fairly common for cognitive science researchers to never work with or make use of ACT-R. It's a sub-community within the cognitive science community. The research program has continued past the 90's, and there's probably around 100 or so researchers actively using it on a regular basis, but the cognitive science community is much larger than that, so your experience is pretty common.
As for whether ACT-R is "actually amazing and people ha... (read more)