An ACT-R Model of the Evolution of Strategy Use and Problem Difficulty
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Research has shown the importance of strategies in guiding problem solving behavior. The experiment and model presented here provide further specification of how more optimal strategies come to be adopted with experience. Isomorphs of the Tower of Hanoi were used to allow participants to develop a degree of expertise with a novel task. In the solutions, evidence for at least two strategies is apparent. The results suggest that when strategies are not successful in achieving the goal, other strategies may emerge and eventually come to dominate performance in a task. The ACT-R model of this task captures participant performance by using the same strategies to solve the problems and by gradually switching to more effective ones as simple strategies fail in solving the problems.