Is Experts' Knowledge Modular?
Gobet, Fernand (2001) Is Experts' Knowledge Modular? In: Proceedings of the 23rd Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society.
This paper explores, both with empirical data and with computer simulations, the extent to which modularity characterises experts' knowledge. We discuss a replication of Chase and Simon's (1973) classic method of identifying 'chunks', i.e., perceptual patterns stored in memory and used as units. This method uses data about the placement of pairs of items in a memory task and consists of comparing latencies between these items and the number and type of relations they share. We then compare the human data with simulations carried out with CHREST, a computer model of perception and memory. We show that the model, based upon the acquisition of a large number of chunks, accounts for the human data well. This is taken as evidence that human knowledge is organised in a modular fashion.
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