alexa Multiple learning modes in the development of performance on a rule-based category-learning task.


Journal of Forensic Psychology

Author(s): Schmittmann VD, Visser I, Raijmakers ME

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Abstract Behavioral and neuropsychological data suggest that multiple systems are involved in category-learning. In this paper, the existence and the development of multiple modes of learning of a rule-based category structure was examined, and features of different learning processes were identified. Data were obtained in a cross-sectional study by Raijmakers et al. [Raijmakers, M. E. J., Dolan, C. V., & Molenaar, P. C. M. (2001). Finite mixture distribution models of simple discrimination learning. Memory and Cognition, 29, 659-677], in which subjects aged 4-20 years carried out a rule-based category-learning task. Learning models were employed to investigate the development of the learning processes in the sample. The results support the hypothesis of two distinct learning modes, rather than a single general mode of learning with a continuum of appearances. One mode represents sudden rational learning by means of hypothesis testing. In the second, slow learning mode, learning also occurs suddenly as opposed to incrementally. The probability of rational learning increases with age, and seems to be related to dimension preference in the younger age groups. However, the finding of distinct learning modes does not necessarily imply that distinct learning systems are involved. Implications for the interpretation and clinical use of tasks with a category-learning component, such as the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST [Heaton, R. K., Chelune, G. J., Talley, J. L., Kay, G. G., & Curtis, G. (Eds.). (1993). Wisconsin card sorting test manual: Revised and expanded. Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources]), are discussed. This article was published in Neuropsychologia and referenced in Journal of Forensic Psychology

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