Construction and Revision of Spatial Mental Models under High Task Demand

Jelica NejasmicUniversity of Giessen
Leandra BucherUniversity of Giessen
Paul D. Thorn University of Duesseldorf
Markus KnauffUniversity of Giessen

Abstract

Individuals often revise their beliefs when confronted with contradicting evidence. Belief revision in the spatial domain can be regarded as variation of initially constructed spatial mental models. Construction and revision usually follow distinct cognitive principles. The present study examines whether principles of revisions which follow constructions under high task demands differ from principles applied after less demanding constructions. We manipulated the task demands for model constructions by means of the continuity with which a spatial model was constructed. We administered tasks with continuous, semi-continuous, and discontinuous conditions as between-subject factor (experiment 1) and as within-subject factor (experiment 2). Construction and revision followed distinct cognitive principles in the changeless conditions of experiment 1. With increased task demands due to switches between different continuity conditions (experiment 2), reasoners adapted the principles they used for model revisions to the principles which they had used during antecedent constructions.

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Construction and Revision of Spatial Mental Models under High Task Demand (197 KB)



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