The effects of training on statistical reasoning
Jones, Scott Fariss
Cooke, Nancy J.
Master of Arts
The methods which people use to reason about everyday events and the strategies they employ have received much attention throughout the years. One aspect of this history is the debate about whether learning rules or examples most facilitates transfer of knowledge to a different domain. This research attempted to answer this question through two experiments. The first experiment concentrated on defining the dimensions along which subjects perceived problems which embodied statistical heuristics. The results identified a contextual dimension along which subjects classified the problems. The second experiment was conducted to determine if the contextual dimension or the problem domain dimension could best account for transfer of training to novel problems. The results indicated that the training transferred to all novel problems, however, training did not transfer to a different set of problems presented to the subjects as a phone survey. Explanations for this lack of transfer are discussed.