Attentional Scope And Performance In Solving Relational Figure Matrix Puzzles.

Overview

Individuals vary greatly in the extent to which they decompose problems, or solve them in steps. When reasoning at higher levels of decomposition, less information is attended to and inferred from at once, though more inferential steps are required to encompass problem information. In this dissertation, I propose a theoretical framework for attentional scope and performance, and test it using relational figure matrix puzzles resembling those used to measure general fluid intelligence. Among proposed benefits to ...
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Overview

Individuals vary greatly in the extent to which they decompose problems, or solve them in steps. When reasoning at higher levels of decomposition, less information is attended to and inferred from at once, though more inferential steps are required to encompass problem information. In this dissertation, I propose a theoretical framework for attentional scope and performance, and test it using relational figure matrix puzzles resembling those used to measure general fluid intelligence. Among proposed benefits to narrowing attentional scope are complexity and interference reduction, increase in focus, as well as the ability to reexamine, or unchunk, assumed information. Proposed costs include greater working memory loads (or use of external supports) and more time spent. Experimental participants were presented with matrix puzzles by computer, and they were either provided with on-screen controls that allowed them to hide any figural element, element-type, or part of the puzzle (partial display condition), or the puzzles were presented without hiding controls (whole display condition). In Experiment 1, participants were assigned to either a partial-whole or whole-partial display condition order. Experiment 2 was identical to Experiment 1, except that participants were not allowed to incrementally enter solution information, thus creating a high working memory load on those using decomposition, which the partial display condition encouraged. In Experiment 3, participants were assigned to a partial-whole or whole-whole sequence and fitted with an eye-tracking device. Experiment 4 tested participants, assigned to either the partial or whole display condition, on their susceptibility to error on foil problems after solving several easy, similar problems. Performance on difficult, novel problems was also tested. Results were in good agreement with an attentional scope framework (though eye-tracking results were unclear). Participants tended to solve problems better under narrower attentional scope (partial display condition), except when under working memory load, and this advantage transferred to the whole display condition, where no display controls were available. Narrowing also improved performance on difficult, novel problems but not on easy, similar problems. Results for foils were equivocal. The implications for theories of reasoning were discussed.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781243766243
  • Publisher: BiblioLabsII
  • Publication date: 9/9/2011
  • Pages: 110
  • Product dimensions: 7.44 (w) x 9.69 (h) x 0.23 (d)

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