Accession Number : ADA119171

Title :   Mental Representation of Circuit Diagrams: Individual Differences in Structural Knowledge.

Descriptive Note : Annual technical rept.,


Personal Author(s) : Wickens,Thomas D ; Geiselman,Ralph E ; Samet,Michael G ; Yelvington,Cynthia L

PDF Url : ADA119171

Report Date : Jun 1982

Pagination or Media Count : 54

Abstract : This work is concerned with the knowledge that electronics technicians possess of electronic equipment, and more generally, with how people operate in tasks that draw upon a complex spatial symbolic knowledge base. A technician's knowledge base is postulated to consist of three types of related knowledge: (a) structural/functional knowldege, which pertains to the actual configuration of a circuit and the role that its components play in the operation of the device; (b) prototypical knowledge, which pertains to the general properties common to circuits of a given type; and (c) procedural knowledge, which pertains to the way that a circuit can be modified and to the interaction among knowledge elements of all three types of knowledge. The first of these knowledge types, structural/functional knowledge, was studied in an experiment in which subjects were asked to reconstruct circuits and to partition circuits into components. Dramatic performance differences, in terms of errors and speed, were found between technicians of varying skill levels. However, any between-group differences in the derived representations of the structural/functional knowledge base were dwarfed by individual differences in the patterns of reconstruction and partitioning performance. Therefore, it is anticipated that more fundamental differences among technicians of varying skill levels lie in their respective procedural knowledge. The results of this research program should help in providing guidelines for training electronic technicians to better understand and troubleshoot complex equipment. (Author)

Descriptors :   *Performance(Human), *Skills, *Electronic technicians, *Circuits, *Diagrams, Perception(Psychology), Learning, Comprehension, Mental ability, Errors, Reaction time, Training, Maintenance, Memory(Psychology), Proficiency, Models, Algorithms, Logic

Subject Categories : Humanities and History
      Electrical and Electronic Equipment

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE