A Theory of the Acquisition of Cognitive Skills.
Technical rept. Jan-Dec 77,
YALE UNIV NEW HAVEN CT DEPT OF PSYCHOLOGY
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The paper describes the ACT theory of learning. The theory is embodied as a computer simulation program that makes predictions about human learning of various cognitive skills such as language fluency, study skills for social science texts, problem-solving skills in mathematics, and computer programming skills. The learning takes place within the ACT theory of the performance of such skills. This theory involves a propositional network representation of general factual knowledge and a production system representation of procedural knowledge. Skill learning mainly involves addition and modification of the productions. There are five mechanisms by which this takes place Designation, strengthening, generalization, discrimination, and composition. Each of these five learning mechanisms is discussed in detail and related to available data in procedural learning.