Situated Cognition in Diagrammatic Reasoning

M. Lewis and J. Toth

Terms such as intuition are frequently used to describe the experience of immediacy in the comprehension of possible behavior from diagrams or computer interfaces. If this aspect of cognition is operationalized as automatic processing reflecting certain environmental constraints (statements), the effects of intuition can accommodated within a more general model of cognitive difficulty. The availability of resource independent but specialized processing suggests that systematic methods for reducing cognitive difficulty by substituting intuitive situations for nonintoitive ones (metaphor) are possible. Results from pilot experiments using Tower of Hanoi isomorphs to investigate the role of attunement and form of correspondence in such substitutions are reported.

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