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Working memory limits are best defined in terms of the complexity of the relations that can be processed in parallel. Complexity is defined as the number of related dimensions or sources of variation. A binary relation has one argument and one source of variation; its argument can be instantiated in only one way at a time. A binary relation has two(More)
Gentner (1988) has proposed a relational shift whereby children interpret analogy and metaphor first in terms of object similarity and then in terms of relational similarity. Goswami (1996) argues against the relational shift hypothesis, citing as evidence a study performed by Goswami and Brown (1989) in which 3-, 4-, and 6-year-old children were able to(More)
Five experiments were performed to test whether participants induced a coherent representation of the structure of a task, called a relational schema, from specific instances. Properties of a relational schema include: An explicit symbol for a relation, a binding that preserves the truth of a relation, potential for higher-order relations, omnidirectional(More)
Two experiments tested predictions from a theory in which processing load depends on relational complexity (RC), the number of variables related in a single decision. Tasks from six domains (transitivity, hierarchical classification, class inclusion, cardinality, relative-clause sentence comprehension, and hypothesis testing) were administered to children(More)
Theoretical analyses of air traffic complexity were carried out using the Method for the Analysis of Relational Complexity. Twenty-two air traffic controllers examined static air traffic displays and were required to detect and resolve conflicts. Objective measures of performance included conflict detection time and accuracy. Subjective perceptions of(More)
The conceptual complexity of problems was manipulated to probe the limits of human information processing capacity. Participants were asked to interpret graphically displayed statistical interactions. In such problems, all independent variables need to be considered together, so that decomposition into smaller subtasks is constrained, and thus the order of(More)
We propose that working memory and reasoning share related capacity limits. These limits are quantified in terms of the number of items that can be kept active in working memory, and the number of interrelationships between elements that can be kept active in reasoning. The latter defines the complexity of reasoning problems and the processing loads they(More)
Cognitive complexity and control theory and relational complexity theory attribute developmental changes in theory of mind (TOM) to complexity. In 3 studies, 3-, 4-, and 5-year-olds performed TOM tasks (false belief, appearance-reality), less complex connections (Level 1 perspective-taking) tasks, and transformations tasks (understanding the effects of(More)