EXPERIMENTS IN COMPUTER-AIDED INDUCTIVE REASONING.
SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT CORP SANTA MONICA CALIF
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The document reports on a program of research on human problem-solving behavior when that behavior is being assisted by certain computer and display aids. The research is particularly concerned with problem solving that involves inductive reasoning or concept formation. Previous investigations have indicated that human subjects use a variety of systematic operations when they are solving such problems one purpose of this project is to carry out an experimental analysis of some of these operations and their explicit uses. To accomplish this purpose, the operations are made available to the problem solver in the form of computer and display aids so that he can call for their implementation quite easily. The problem solver is thus relieved of the burden of actually carrying out the details of the operations. Furthermore, through the complete recording of the use of these computer aids, some aspects of the problem-solving process are externalized for examination by the researcher. The first part of this report outlines the general method and rationale of this work and its relation to other research. The second part describes four specific experiments within that general framework. Groups of subjects were exposed to two major types of concept problems classification and relational. Those subjects who were allowed to use the computer and display aids called symbol manipulation functions in solving the problems achieved significantly higher performance than non-aided subjects. The aids increased in usefulness with problem difficulty and had their greatest utility for the relational problems, which proved to be considerably more difficult than classification problems. Author
- Computer Hardware
- Human Factors Engineering and Man Machine Systems