Psychological Evaluation of Path Hypotheses in Cognitive Diagnosis

  • Stellan Ohlsson
  • Pat Langley
Part of the Cognitive Science book series (COGNITIVE SCIEN)


Consider a human being at work locating a fault in a car, proving a mathematical theorem, playing chess—in short, carrying out a cognitive task of some kind. We can capture an individual’s performance on the task by observing his or her actions and by listening to what he or she says. We wish to describe the mental processes that generated that performance. The problem of describing the mental processes of a particular person with respect to a particular task, given a performance record, is here called the problem of cognitive diagnosis. To the psychologist the problem of cognitive diagnosis is the problem of “research method”—how to process empirical observations of subjects. To the teacher it is the problem of “assessment” —how to evaluate the knowledge, or lack of knowledge, of students. To the computer scientist it is part of the problem of “user modeling”—how to construct interfaces that adapt to the individual user.1


Memory Load Problem Space Incorrect Answer Solution Path Psychological Evaluation 
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© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stellan Ohlsson
  • Pat Langley

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