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Models of quantitative estimations: rule-based and exemplar-based processes compared


von Helversen, Bettina; Rieskamp, Jörg (2009). Models of quantitative estimations: rule-based and exemplar-based processes compared. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 35(4):867-889.

Abstract

The cognitive processes underlying quantitative estimations vary. Past research has identified task-contingent changes between rule-based and exemplar-based processes (P. Juslin, L. Karlsson, & H. Olsson, 2008). B. von Helversen and J. Rieskamp (2008), however, proposed a simple rule-based model-the mapping model-that outperformed the exemplar model in a task thought to promote exemplar-based processing. This raised questions about the assumptions of rule-based versus exemplar-based models that underlie the notion of task contingency of cognitive processes. Rule-based models, such as the mapping model, assume the abstraction of explicit task knowledge. In contrast, exemplar models should profit if storage and activation of the exemplars is facilitated. Two studies tested the importance of the two models' assumptions. When knowledge about cues existed, the rule-based mapping model predicted quantitative estimations best. In contrast, when knowledge about the cues was difficult to gain, participants' estimations were best described by an exemplar model. The results emphasize the task contingency of cognitive processes.

Abstract

The cognitive processes underlying quantitative estimations vary. Past research has identified task-contingent changes between rule-based and exemplar-based processes (P. Juslin, L. Karlsson, & H. Olsson, 2008). B. von Helversen and J. Rieskamp (2008), however, proposed a simple rule-based model-the mapping model-that outperformed the exemplar model in a task thought to promote exemplar-based processing. This raised questions about the assumptions of rule-based versus exemplar-based models that underlie the notion of task contingency of cognitive processes. Rule-based models, such as the mapping model, assume the abstraction of explicit task knowledge. In contrast, exemplar models should profit if storage and activation of the exemplars is facilitated. Two studies tested the importance of the two models' assumptions. When knowledge about cues existed, the rule-based mapping model predicted quantitative estimations best. In contrast, when knowledge about the cues was difficult to gain, participants' estimations were best described by an exemplar model. The results emphasize the task contingency of cognitive processes.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Date:July 2009
Deposited On:03 Mar 2017 09:26
Last Modified:12 Mar 2017 06:31
Publisher:American Psychological Association
ISSN:0278-7393
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1037/a0015501
PubMed ID:19586258

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