ERIC Number: EJ743239
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Sep
Simple Predictions Fueled by Capacity Limitations: When Are They Successful?
Gaissmaier, Wolfgang; Schooler, Lael J.; Rieskamp, Jorg
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, v32 n5 p966-982 Sep 2006
Counterintuitively, Y. Kareev, I. Lieberman, and M. Lev (1997) found that a lower short-term memory capacity benefits performance on a correlation detection task. They assumed that people with low short-term memory capacity (low spans) perceived the correlations as more extreme because they relied on smaller samples, which are known to exaggerate correlations. The authors consider, as an alternative hypothesis, that low spans do not perceive exaggerated correlations but make simpler predictions. Modeling both hypotheses in ACT-R demonstrates that simpler predictions impair performance if the environment changes, whereas a more exaggerated perception of correlation is advantageous to detect a change. Congruent with differences in the way participants make predictions, 2 experiments revealed a low capacity advantage before the environment changes but a high capacity advantage afterward, although this pattern of results surprisingly only existed for men.
Descriptors: Prediction, Short Term Memory, Correlation, Hypothesis Testing, Program Validation, Reader Response, Congruence (Psychology), Gender Differences
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
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