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Instruction and load effects on high-skill and low-skill individuals: a study in the domain of mental arithmetic

Ineke Imbo (UGent) and André Vandierendonck (UGent)
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Abstract
What happens when people are asked to respond as quickly or as accurately as possible? This study tested the effects of speed/accuracy instructions and working-memory load on people’s strategy efficiency and strategy selection. Adult participants solved simple addition problems (Experiment 1) and simple multiplication problems (Experiment 2) under load and no-load conditions and provided trial-by-trial strategy reports. High-skill participants were more efficient than low-skill participants, but the underlying causes of these skill-related effects differed across experiments. In the addition experiment, high-skill participants responded adaptively to the changing situations by changing their strategy choices, which resulted in smaller effects on their actual performance. Low-skill participants in contrast, did not change their strategy choices as adaptively, which resulted in less efficient performance – and especially so under load conditions. In the multiplication experiment, high-skill and low-skill participants differed in strategy efficiencies rather than in strategy choices. In the discussion, the results are further interpreted and future adaptations for the adaptive strategy choice model (ASCM, Siegler & Jenkins, 1989) are suggested.
Keywords
strategy efficiency, strategy selection, multiplication, central executive, arithmetic skill, instruction, working memory, mental arithmetic, addition, adaptivity

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Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

MLA
Imbo, Ineke, and André Vandierendonck. “Instruction and Load Effects on High-skill and Low-skill Individuals: a Study in the Domain of Mental Arithmetic.” EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY 22.6 (2010): 964–989. Print.
APA
Imbo, I., & Vandierendonck, A. (2010). Instruction and load effects on high-skill and low-skill individuals: a study in the domain of mental arithmetic. EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY, 22(6), 964–989.
Chicago author-date
Imbo, Ineke, and André Vandierendonck. 2010. “Instruction and Load Effects on High-skill and Low-skill Individuals: a Study in the Domain of Mental Arithmetic.” European Journal of Cognitive Psychology 22 (6): 964–989.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Imbo, Ineke, and André Vandierendonck. 2010. “Instruction and Load Effects on High-skill and Low-skill Individuals: a Study in the Domain of Mental Arithmetic.” European Journal of Cognitive Psychology 22 (6): 964–989.
Vancouver
1.
Imbo I, Vandierendonck A. Instruction and load effects on high-skill and low-skill individuals: a study in the domain of mental arithmetic. EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY. 2010;22(6):964–89.
IEEE
[1]
I. Imbo and A. Vandierendonck, “Instruction and load effects on high-skill and low-skill individuals: a study in the domain of mental arithmetic,” EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY, vol. 22, no. 6, pp. 964–989, 2010.
@article{710533,
  abstract     = {What happens when people are asked to respond as quickly or as accurately as possible? This study tested the effects of speed/accuracy instructions and working-memory load on people’s strategy efficiency and strategy selection. Adult participants solved simple addition problems (Experiment 1) and simple multiplication problems (Experiment 2) under load and no-load conditions and provided trial-by-trial strategy reports. High-skill participants were more efficient than low-skill participants, but the underlying causes of these skill-related effects differed across experiments. In the addition experiment, high-skill participants responded adaptively to the changing situations by changing their strategy choices, which resulted in smaller effects on their actual performance. Low-skill participants in contrast, did not change their strategy choices as adaptively, which resulted in less efficient performance – and especially so under load conditions. In the multiplication experiment, high-skill and low-skill participants differed in strategy efficiencies rather than in strategy choices. In the discussion, the results are further interpreted and future adaptations for the adaptive strategy choice model (ASCM, Siegler & Jenkins, 1989) are suggested.},
  author       = {Imbo, Ineke and Vandierendonck, André},
  issn         = {0954-1446},
  journal      = {EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY},
  keywords     = {strategy efficiency,strategy selection,multiplication,central executive,arithmetic skill,instruction,working memory,mental arithmetic,addition,adaptivity},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {6},
  pages        = {964--989},
  title        = {Instruction and load effects on high-skill and low-skill individuals: a study in the domain of mental arithmetic},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09541440903150196},
  volume       = {22},
  year         = {2010},
}

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