- Modeling developmental transitions on the balance scale task
- Cognitive Science
- Volume | Issue number
- 27 | 2
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
Periods of relatively stable, rule-like behavior alternated with short transition periods characterize cognitive development on reasoning tasks like the balance scale task. Each transition gives rise to an improvement in behavior, until a phase is reached in which performance is flawless or improvement is not worthwhile given the necessary extra effort. Several computational models have been developed to capture the developmental phenomena associated with the balance scale task. These models, which originate from different computational traditions, explain the main phenomena of development. Recently, empirical phenomena have been reported that these models cannot easily accommodate. We propose a computational model that is implemented in ACT-R and that is based on the evaluation of success ofapplied knowledge, combined with a mechanism to construct newknowledge by searching for differences between the left- and right-hand sides of presented balance scale problems. This model accounts for the main empirical phenomena as well as for the recently reported empirical phenomena such as learning without feedback.
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