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A source activation theory of working memory: cross-task prediction of performance in ACT-R

journal contribution
posted on 2000-06-01, 00:00 authored by Marsha LovettMarsha Lovett, Larry Z. Daily, Lynne M. Reder

Over the decades, computational models of human cognition have advanced from programs that produce output similar to that of human problem solvers to systems that mimic both the products and processes of human performance. In this paper, we describe a model that achieves the next step in this progression: predicting individual participants’ performance across multiple tasks after estimating a single individual difference parameter. We demonstrate this capability in the context of a model of working memory, where the individual difference parameter for each participant represents working memory capacity. Specifically, our model is able to make zero-parameter predictions of individual participants’ performance on a second task after separately fitting performance on a preliminary task. We argue that this level of predictive ability offers an important test of the theory underlying our model.

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2000-06-01

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