Related to the earlier well-known ACT production system theory, this book's basic goal is to present evidence for the psychological reality of a production system model of mind. Distinguished from the original theory in three ways, this volume uses the rational analyses of Anderson (1990) to improve upon that theory and extend its scope. It also relates the theory to a great deal of new data on the performance and acquisition of cognitive skills.
The new theory -- ACT-R -- involves a neurally plausible implementation of a production system architecture. Rational analysis is used to structure and parameterize the system to yield optimal information processing. The theory is applicable to a wide variety of research disciplines, including memory, problem solving, and skill acquisition. Using intelligent tutors, much of the data is concerned with the acquisition of cognitive skills. The book provides analyses of data sets describing the extended course of the acquisition of mathematical and computer programming skills.
"[From] one of the leading contemporary contributors to cognitive psychology….An important book."
"…anyone interested in becoming familiar, or staying familiar, with the state of the art in cognitive psychology should read this book. It presents the definitive production system in psychology; it exemplifies how powerful a theory can be in evaluating and explaining data; and it illustrates some of the challenging problems that face this young, exciting science."
Contents: Production Systems and the ACT-R Theory. Knowledge Representation. Performance. Learning. N. Kushmerick, C. Lebiere, Navigation and Conflict Resolution. N. Kushmerick, C. Lebiere, The Tower of Hanoi and Goal Structures. F.G. Conrad, A.T. Corbett, The LISP Tutor and Skill Acquisition. F.S. Bellezza, C.F. Boyle, The Geometry Tutor and Skill Acquisition. M.K. Singley, The Identical Elements Theory of Transfer. F.G. Conrad, A.T. Corbett, J.M. Fincham, D. Hoffman, Q. Wu, Computer Programming and Transfer. A.T. Corbett, Tutoring of Cognitive Skill. Creating Production-Rule Models. Reflections on the Theory.