ERIC Number: ED174518
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Jan
Reference Count: 0
Individual Differences in Knowledge Acquisition from Maps. A Report Prepared for Office of Naval Research.
Thorndyke, Perry W.; Stasz, Cathleen
This study investigates the strategies people use to acquire knowledge from maps. Among the questions examined were (1) what distinguishes poor learners from good learners, and (2) how do the learning strategies of map-using experts differ from those of nonexpert learners? Eight subjects participated in the study. Five were undergraduate students at the University of California at Los Angeles and three were experts with military or scientific expertise in map reading. All subjects were given two maps of an imaginary town and country. They were allowed six trials of two minutes each in which to learn the information in the maps well enough to draw them from memory and answer questions about their contents. During the six trials they were required to think aloud about how they were going about learning the maps. Analysis of the subjects' verbal reports and performance on a test of map content indicated that four types of learning processes were used: attention, encoding, evaluation, and control. The use of processes for encoding spatial information (storing it in long-term memory and relating it to other information already learned) was most predictive of learning performance. Good learners differed from poor learners in their ability to evaluate their learning progress and to focus their attention on unlearned information. (Author/AV)
Descriptors: Adult Education, Behavioral Science Research, Cognitive Processes, Cognitive Style, Individual Differences, Learning Processes, Map Skills, Maps, Research Methodology, Spatial Relationship, Success
Rand Corporation, Publications Department, 1700 Main Street, Santa Monica, California 90406 ($5.00, paper copy)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Naval Research, Washington, DC. Psychological Sciences Div.; Office of Naval Research, Washington, DC. Personnel and Training Branch.
Authoring Institution: Rand Corp., Santa Monica, CA.