Persistence in memory of the surface organization of simple maps as performance aids
The surface organization of performance aids such as maps or diagrams can affect decisions even when the relevant information has been mastered and decisions are made from memory. We tested this conjecture by providing three different types of maps as performance aids for routing decisions. The maps were realistic, straightened, or diagrammatic. Through extensive practice, very accurate performance was achieved even when the performance aid was no longer available. After 200 decisions made from memory, decision time was nearly stable (asymptotic), but diagrammatic map subjects were still about 500 msecs faster than those who used more realistic maps. The observed aftereffects of the structure of performance aids are congruent with the usual conceptions of mental models in that they reflect productive memorial structures. Our findings suggest that inappropriately organized informative materials may exact a toll even after their content is mastered.
Cited by 2 other publications
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