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In Order to LearnHow the sequence of topics influences learning$
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Frank E. Ritter, Josef Nerb, Erno Lehtinen, and Timothy O'Shea

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195178845

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195178845.001.0001

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An Ordered Chaos: How Do Order Effects Arise in a Cognitive Model?

An Ordered Chaos: How Do Order Effects Arise in a Cognitive Model?

(p.107) Chapter 8 An Ordered Chaos: How Do Order Effects Arise in a Cognitive Model?
In Order to Learn

Fernand Gobet

Peter C. R. Lane

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses how order effects arise within EPAM (Elementary Perceiver and Memorizer), an influential computational theory of cognition developed by Feigenbaum and Simon. EPAM acquires knowledge by constructing a discrimination network indexing chunks, closely integrating perception and memory. After a brief description of the theory, including its learning mechanisms, the chapter focuses on three ways order effects occur in EPAM: (a) as a function of attention; (b) as a function of the learning mechanisms; and (c) as a function of the ordering of stimuli in the environment. It illustrates these three cases with the paired-associate task in verbal learning and with an experiment using artificial material. It also addresses some of the implications of this work for education, including how to order hierarchically arrangeable material, and the need to focus learners on important and relevant features.

Keywords:   order effects, theory of learning, EPAM, verbal learning

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