Combinations of simple mechanisms explain diverse strategies in the free-hand writing of memorised sentences

Cheng, Peter C-H and van Genuchten, Erlijn (2018) Combinations of simple mechanisms explain diverse strategies in the free-hand writing of memorised sentences. Cognitive Science, 42 (4). pp. 1070-1109. ISSN 0364-0213

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Individual differences in the strategies that control sequential behaviour were investigated in an experiment in which participants memorised sentences and then wrote them by hand, in a non-cursive style. Thirty-two participants each wrote eight sentences, which had hierarchical structures with five levels. The dataset included over 31 thousand letters. Despite the deliberately constrained nature of the task and stimuli, 23 patterns of behaviour were identified from the durations of pauses that occurred before the inscription of letters at four chunk levels, spanning letters, word, phrases and sentences. A critical path task analytic model, Graphical Production of Memorised Sentences (GPoMS), shows that the control of writing relies on cues that continuously switch between motor actions and chunk retrievals in a just-in-time fashion at the level of letter information. GPoMS explains the individual differences in terms of variants of a motor production mechanism and variants of a chunk retrieval mechanism, which involve varying degrees of parallelism between cognitive actions and motor actions. A graphical technique for constructing GPoMS models was developed that enabled the estimation of on-going working memory demands during production.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: chunk hierarchy; control of sequential behaviour; writing from memory; individual differences; pause analysis; task analysis; critical path model; consistency principles
Schools and Departments: School of Engineering and Informatics > Informatics
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF0180 Experimental psychology
Q Science > QZ Psychology
Depositing User: Peter Cheng
Date Deposited: 12 Feb 2018 09:19
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2018 15:00

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