Transferring Primitive Elements of Skill Within and Between Tasks

Logan GittelsonRensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York, USA
Niels TaatgenUniversity of Groningen

Abstract

The primitive elements of skill theory proposes a set of approximately 2000 primitive information processing elements (PRIMs) (Taatgen, 2013) that compose all cognitive acts by combining and recombining to produce learning and transfer. By this theory, learning is transfer and transfer results from learning as the primitive elements combine to form new elements based on task demands and these more complex elements are reused later in learning (thereby producing increase in skill) and repurposed by different tasks (thereby producing transfer). We illustrate PRIMs in this paper by producing two models of the Balance Beam Task (BBT) and of the Take the Best heuristic (TTB). Although BBT and TTB do not, on the surface, possess much in common, when run in a transfer paradigm (TTB-to-BBT or BBT-to-TTB) each model harvests PRIMs created by its predecessor, thereby demonstrating positive transfer.

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