Knowledge of domain effects in problem representation: The case of tower of hanoi isomorphs

Thinking and Reasoning 3 (2):133 – 157 (1997)
Differences in difficulty between isomorphs of the Tower of Hanoi are generally explained in terms of differences in processing loads required by the different versions Kotovsky & Fallside, 1989 . Our claim is that the general knowledge about an action, activated by the context, is what guides the elaboration of problem representation. To test this hypothesis, we manipulated the context using four isomorphs. The results support the hypothesis: the selection of the adequate point of view on the action depends on the context, and is a crucial step in the elaboration of problem representation. The more difficult versions are those that require abandoning the first point of view and selecting a new one.
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