Generality of the Effects of Practice on Social Judgment Tasks.
Interim technical rept.,
PURDUE UNIV LAFAYETTE IN DEPT OF PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCES
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Many types of social and nonsocial cognitive processes can be performed faster after they have been practiced. Two experiments examine some properties of this speedup, particularly its pattern of generality, in order to give indications as to its underlying theoretical basis. For example, consider a person who practices judging whether a number of behaviors imply a particular target trait. Is the resulting increase in speed specific to the behaviors that were judged, does it apply to judgments of new behaviors with respect to the same target trait, or is it applicable to all judgements using the same process, even for different target traits These experiments identify components of speedup that show each of these patterns. The results show that general procedures can be strengthened by practice and contradict the notion that speedup is purely a function of increased accessibility of schemas or other memory structures representing knowledge about the judgment target. The effects of practice need not be content-specific.