|(…) we make search in our memory for a forgotten idea, just as we rummage our house for a lost object. In both cases we visit what seems to us the probable neighborhood of that which we miss. We turn over the things under which, or within which, or alongside of which, it may possibly be;
and if it lies near them, it soon comes to view.
|William James (1890), The Principles of Psychology, p. 654|
[Copyright neth.de, 2007–2014]:
Steve Payne, Geoff Duggan, Hans Neth (2007).
Discretionary task interleaving: Heuristics for time allocation in cognitive foraging.
Journal article in JEP:G.
Abstract: When participants allocated time across 2 tasks (in which they generated as many words as possible from a fixed set of letters), they made frequent switches. This allowed them to allocate more time to the more productive task (i.e., the set of letters from which more words could be generated) even though times between the last word and the switch decision (“giving-up times”) were higher in the less productive task. These findings were reliable across 2 experiments using Scrabble tasks and 1 experiment using word-search puzzles. Switch decisions appeared relatively unaffected by the ease of the competing task or by explicit information about tasks’ potential gain. The authors propose that switch decisions reflected a dual orientation to the experimental tasks. First, there was a sensitivity to continuous rate of return — an information-foraging orientation that produced a tendency to switch in keeping with R. F. Green’s (1984) rule and a tendency to stay longer in more rewarding tasks. Second, there was a tendency to switch tasks after subgoal completion. A model combining these tendencies predicted all the reliable effects in the experimental data.
|You can’t play 20 questions with nature and win.|
|Allen Newell (1973)|
[Copyright neth.de, 2004]: Hans Neth, Chris Sims, Dan Veksler, Wayne Gray: Dynamic memory updates in TRACS. Paper presented at CogSci 2004.
Abstract: To investigate people’s ability to update memory in a dynamic task environment we use the experimental card game TRACS^tm (Burns, 2001). In many card games card counting is a component of optimal performance. However, for TRACS, Burns (2002a) reported that players exhibited a baseline bias: rather than basing their choices on the actual number of cards remaining in the deck, they chose cards based on the initial composition of the deck. Both a task analysis and computer simulation show that a perfectly executed memory update strategy has minimal value in the original game, suggesting that a baseline strategy is a rational adaptation to the demands of the original game. We then redesign the game to maximize the difference in performance between baseline and update strategies. An empirical study with the new game shows that players perform much better than could be achieved by a baseline strategy. Hence, we conclude that people will adopt a memory update strategy when the benefits outweigh the costs.
|A conditional (…) is not a creature of constant hue, but chameleon-like,
takes on the colour of its surroundings: its meaning is determined
to some extent by the very propositions it connects.
|P.C. Wason and P.N. Johnson-Laird (1972), Psychology of reasoning: Structure and content, p. 92|
|Conditionals are acceptable in virtue of a number of different patterns of dependence (…)
If we have no pattern of dependence in mind, a primary object of our investigation
should then be to get one in mind.
|D.H. Sanford (1989): If P, then Q: Conditionals and the foundations of reasoning, p. 196ff|
[Copyright neth.de, 1999]:
Hans Neth and Sigi Beller (1999):
How knowledge interferes with reasoning: Suppression effects by content and context. Paper presented at CogSci 1999.
Hansjörg Neth, Sieghard Beller
Abstract: The suppression of logically valid inferences by the content or context of premises can be seen as an instance of knowledge having a detrimental influence on reasoning. Although Henle (1962) has claimed that invalid deductions are due to additional premises drawn from background knowledge, current research on content effects ignores the methodological implications of this claim. Elaborating on the suppression effect in conditional reasoning (Byrne, 1989), we present a knowledge-based approach that makes relevant features of background knowledge an integral part of the analysis. After identifying the sufficiency and necessity of conditions as the type of knowledge mediating the effect, we construct and validate task materials independently from any assessment of reasoning (Experiment 1). We then replicate and extend suppression effects in syllogism tasks (Experiment 2) and show that participants are able to couch their background knowledge in formally correct wordings (Experiment 3).
Keywords: Logic, thinking and reasoning, conditional syllogisms, effects of knowledge, content, context.
Reference: Neth, H., & Beller, S. (1999). How knowledge interferes with reasoning: Suppression effects by content and context. In M. Hahn, & S. C. Stoness (Eds.), Proceedings of the 21st Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 468–473). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Related: Searching for counterexamples | Diploma thesis