A Functional Examination of Intermediate Cognitive Processes.
AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH
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This thesis contains a functional examination of the cognitive processing which occurs between the acquisition of representations and the execution of responses. Three separate types of processing are proposed explicit self-instruction, general non-verbal concentration and automatic parameter specification by extant knowledge structures. Save the Whale , a specially developed, arcade type computer game was used to gather information relevant to this conceptual model. The game involved two substantively different but peripherally similar tasks. One task was simple but uncertain and the other was complex but certain. The validity of subjects post-game verbal accounts of appropriate strategies for the two tasks differed considerably. Subjects espoused strategies for the simple task were completely consistent with their actual performance. In contrast, their espoused strategies for the complex task were clearly incompatible with their behaviour during the game. Additionally, subjects unanimously nominated the complex task as being the more difficult.