Inducing Flexible Thinking: The Problem of Access

  • Ann L. Brown
  • Joseph C. Campione
Part of the NATO Conference Series book series (NATOCS, volume 14)


We began by illustrating that the concept of accessibility was central to many theories of psychology from quite disparate domains. A distinction similar to Pylyshyn’s of multiple and reflective access also seems to be, at least implicitly, part of many theories. Given that accessibility is a core concept in so many current disputes, we suggest that no theory of intelligence can be complete unless provision is made for the operation of second-order knowledge, i.e., knowledge about what we know (reflective access) and flexible use of the routines available to the system (multiple access).

In the second part of the paper we consider the evidence that diagnosis of retarded and learning disabled children’s learning problems based on process theories are fundamentally diagnoses of restricted access. Training studies, whether successful or not at inducing transfer, provide rich support for the hypothesis that the slow learning child has peculiar difficulty with the flexible use of knowledge. In the final section we consider the implications of the position for the design of training programs to alleviate the problem of accessibility. Here we address the developing technology we have for programming transfer of training and the importance of interpersonal settings, particularly Socratic tutoring, as cognitive support systems for learning.


Multiple Access Executive Control Training Study Retarded Child Adaptive Specialization 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ann L. Brown
    • 1
  • Joseph C. Campione
    • 1
  1. 1.University of IllinoisChampaignUSA

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