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The influence of goal-state access cost on planning during problem solving

Waldron, Samuel Matthew, Patrick, John and Duggan, Geoffrey B. 2011. The influence of goal-state access cost on planning during problem solving. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology 64 (3) , pp. 485-503. 10.1080/17470218.2010.507276

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Two problem-solving experiments investigated the relationship between planning and the cost of accessing goal-state information using the theoretical framework of the soft constraints hypothesis (Gray & Fu, 2004; Gray, Simms, Fu, & Schoelles, 2006). In Experiment 1, 36 participants were allocated to low, medium, and high access cost conditions and completed a problem-solving version of the Blocks World Task. Both the nature of planning (memory based or display based) and its timing (before or during action) changed with high goal-state access cost (a mouse movement and a 2.5-s delay). In this condition more planning before action was observed, with less planning during action, evidenced by longer first-move latencies, more moves per goal-state inspection, and more short (≤0.8 s) and long (>8 s) “preplanned” intermove latencies. Experiment 2 used an eight-puzzle-like transformation task and replicated the effect of goal-state access cost when more complex planning was required, also confirmed by sampled protocol data. Planning before an episode of move making increased with higher goal-state access cost, and planning whilst making moves increased with lower access cost. These novel results are discussed in the context of the soft constraints hypothesis.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords: Adaptive cognition, Human problem solving, Human planning, Human memory, Information access cost
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 1747-0218
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2016 02:05

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