ERIC Number: ED234070
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Describing Cognitive Structure.
White, Richard T.
This paper discusses questions pertinent to a definition of cognitive structure as the knowledge one possesses and the manner in which it is arranged, and considers how to select or devise methods of describing cognitive structure. The main purpose in describing cognitive structure is to see whether differences in memory (or cognitive structure) are related to subsequent differences in performance. This purpose influences the discussions of both models and dimensions of cognitive structure and current methods of assessing cognitive structure. The model of cognitive structure discussed is a static one, consisting of four units or elements: propositions, images, episodes, and intellectual skills. These elements, in turn, affect the nine dimensions of cognitive structure considered: extent, precision, internal consistency, accord with reality, variety of types of element, variety of topics, shape (or form of organization of cognitive structure), ratio of internal to external associations, and availability. Among the current methods of assessing cognitive structure that are discussed are school tests, word associations, graph construction, general interviews, and restricted interviews. Future developments in methods of describing cognitive structure include refining procedures for converting responses obtained by present methods to a vector of dimensional scores, or inventing new methods, each directed at a single dimension. (LC)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Australian Association for Educational Research (Melbourne, Australia, November 1979).