Accession Number:

ADA222395

Title:

Learning Events in the Acquisition of Three Skills

Descriptive Note:

Technical rept. 1 Jan 1988-31 Dec 1990,

Corporate Author:

CARNEGIE-MELLON UNIV PITTSBURGH PA DEPT OF PSYCHOLOGY

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

1989-07-21

Pagination or Media Count:

11.0

Abstract:

According to current theories of cognitive skill acquisition, new problem solving rules are constructed by proceduralization, production compounding, chunking, syntactic generalization, and a variety of other mechanisms. All these mechanisms are assumed to run rather than quickly, so a rules acquisition should be a matter of a few seconds at most. Such learning events might be visible in protocol data. This paper discusses a method for locating the initial use of a rule in protocol data. The method is applied to protocols of subjects learning three tasks a river crossing puzzle, the Tower of Hanoi, and a topic in college physics. Rules were discovered at the rate of about every half hour. Most rules required several learning events before they were used consistently, which is not consistent with the one-trial learning predicted by explanation-based learning methods. Some observed patterns of learning events were consistent with a learning mechanism based on syntactic generalization of rules. Although most rules seem to have been acquired at impasses - occasions when the subject does not know what to do next - there were clear cases of rules being learned without visible signs of an impassse, which does not support the popular hypothesis that all learning occurs at impasses. sdw

Subject Categories:

  • Psychology
  • Cybernetics

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE