Individual differences in performance on perceptual multiple cue probability learning tasks

Bayındır, Mustafa
What makes an individual, or as the initial motivation of this study, a pilot, perform above the average in a complex task where speed is the primary concern? The answer of this question is closely related to the task and the individual in the task environment. It is plausible to model such a task by mapping it to responding to several stimuli (cues) that are related to a environmental variable (criterion). This model actually corresponds to a judgment analysis paradigm, studied extensively in the literature, and known as Multi Cue Probability Learning (MCPL). Properties of task, such as cue presentation mode (e.g. analog or digital), or individual differences in cognitive abilities (such as attentional mechanism, verbal and visual working memory, executive control, etc.) may effect the learning performance. Furthermore, presentation mode which is compatible with the decision maker’s cognitive capability may create an advantage in learning performance. Using MCPL paradigm, and manipulating the presentation and response modes in a typical MCPL task, as graphical and numerical, four experiments were conducted, and learning performance of the participants was measured as the dependent variable. Individuals’ working memory capacity was assessed by means of several working memory capacity span tasks. Results suggest that learning performance in graphical mode of MCPL task, is suiperior as compared to numerical mode. The main e↵ect of verbal working memory capacity measure is significant so that it can explain the variance in the learning performance irrespective of the presentation style. In certain task settings, visuo-spatial working memory capacity interacted with the presentation mode so that it affects learning performance when mode of presentation is graphical rather than numerical. As opposed to initial predictions, verbal working memory capacity does not interact with MCPL task modality, pointing in the direction of a single dissociation between the learning performances in graphical and numerical modes of the MCPL task. As result of this study we have found that the numerical and graphical presentation and response modalities and working memory capacity of decision maker is effective in the performance of MCPL tasks. Furthermore these factors interacts with each other such that when the cognitive ability and the modality are congruent with each other, there occurs a significant performance increase in learning. This and follow-up studies may have implications on designing human computer interfaces and predicting performance based on measured cognitive abilities.


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Citation Formats
M. Bayındır, “Individual differences in performance on perceptual multiple cue probability learning tasks,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2013.