Eye Fixation and Strategy Analyses of Individual Differences in Cognitive Aptitudes
A vast literature in educational psychology attests to the fact that individual differences in learner aptitudes predict learning outcomes. A substantial body of literature also now demonstrates that aptitude variables often interact with instructional treatment variables in these predictions (Cronbach & Snow, 1977). Aptitude main effects and aptitude-instructional treatment interactions (ATI), frequently account for a larger proportion of variation in learning outcome than do treatment main effects alone. ATI findings, in particular, have important implications for the development of instructional theory and research and for instructional improvement. They suggest how instruction can be made adaptive to student differences. But if practical and theoretical use is to be made of these ideas, then individual differences in aptitude for learning will need to be understood at a more analytic process level. Traditional research on aptitude sought mainly to improve the predictive power of measures, and to build a taxonomy of aptitude constructs based on correlational studies. With the growth of a cognitive experimental psychology of information processing, coupled with the development of ATI research on instruction, it now seems possible to pursue a process theory of aptitude. This paper notes some recent findings and reports one new study in a continuing program of research toward obtaining such a theory.
KeywordsResponse Alternative Ability Test Introspective Report Paper Folding Stimulus Part
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