Application of a cognitive-distance model to learning in a simulated travel task.

  • William K. Estes
  • Published 1987 in
    Journal of experimental psychology. Learning…


A cognitive-distance model for choice, obtained by specializing a general class of models for categorization, was tested in a situation simulating the task of controlling speed of a vehicle in tasks defined by different relations between speed and probability of delay. Subjects exhibited significant learning whenever delay schedules permitted greater-than-chance performance, but on the average they did not approach optimal performance in the sense of choosing speeds so as to maximize distance attained in allowed time. Evidence was obtained that subjects encoded information about probabilities of delay and distributions of distance attained at different speeds quite accurately in memory and that suboptimal performance was due primarily to imperfect discrimination among representations of choice alternatives on a cognitive scale of expected distance.

Cite this paper

@article{Estes1987ApplicationOA, title={Application of a cognitive-distance model to learning in a simulated travel task.}, author={William K. Estes}, journal={Journal of experimental psychology. Learning, memory, and cognition}, year={1987}, volume={13 3}, pages={380-6} }