ERIC Number: ED350994
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Understanding Mechanical Systems Through Computer Animation and Kinematic Imagery. Final Report.
Carpenter, Patricia A.; Just, Marcel Adam
One purpose of this research is to develop models of cognitive processes in understanding mechanical systems. A particular focus was on the processes in mentally animating the representation of a mechanical system, and the contribution of animation graphics in comprehension. Several studies, involving eye fixations, verbal protocols, and process tracing, indicated that mental animation was difficult for individuals who were not knowledgeable about mechanics. Animation did help them determine the motion of individual components, but animation alone did not entirely compensate for the subject's difficulty in identifying relevant features and ignoring irrelevant features. These subjects included college students, professional mechanics, and high school graduates applying for positions as firemen or policemen in New York City. A second goal of the research was to analyze the differences among individuals who are performing analytic reasoning tasks. The cognitive processes in a widely used, nonverbal test of analytic intelligence, the Raven Progressive Matrices Test, were analyzed using experimental and modelling techniques. Two processes that were found to distinguish average and superior performance are the ability to induce abstract relations and the ability to dynamically manage a large set of problem solving goals in working memory. Ten figures illustrate the report and a list of nine publications associated with this research project is included. (Contains 21 references.) (Author/ALF)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Naval Research, Arlington, VA. Personnel and Training Research Programs Office.
Authoring Institution: Carnegie-Mellon Univ., Pittsburgh, PA. Dept. of Psychology.