Objective knowledge and the construction of spatial mental models

K Coventry, S.F Venn, P Armstead

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We report the results of two studies that examined the effects of object knowledge on the construction of spatial mental models using problems similar to those used previously by Byrne and Johnson-Laird (1989). Participants were given a series of problems which were either one model, two model determinate, or two model indeterminate problems. In one condition participants were given problems with pairs of associated objects in each problem, while objects with no associations were used in the other condition, either between- (Experiment 1) or within-(Experiment 2) subjects. It was predicted that object knowledge would affect mental model construction, but surprisingly no effects were found, although strong support for mental model theory was found for both solution latency and success data. The implications of these results for model theory and construction are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)635-652
Number of pages18
JournalCahiers de Psychologie Cognitive
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2002

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