Knowledge in the Head and in the World (Norman )
Knowledge in the Head and in the World (Norman )
I was most intrigued with the suggestion that people can be made to believe they witnessed something that they did not witness. Want to know more on this.
Had my husband, who has been riding and repairing motocycles for many years, show me how to make a left turn. At no point did we turn to the right before leaning in to turn left. The only conditions under which we could see this was a) when trying to make a wide left b) when at a high speed and the wheels were breaking (like sliding on ice) or c) when shifting your weight to get your center of gravity better so you can really lean into the turn.
Cultural impact on how we view time was a real eye opener.
How knowledge moves from working memory to LTM has significant impact for how I will structure assessments in my courses.
Knowledge in the Head (Memory)
Structure of Memory
Short Term or Working Memory
Just the present
retention affected by time and number of items
number of items more important: each new item decreasing the likelihood of remembering all the preceding items
Long Term Memory
Memory for the past
experiences are reconstructed and interpreted each time they are recovered
knowledge in memory is meaningful: at the time of retrieval subjected to biases and distortions than is wholly accurate
eyewitness testimony notoriously unreliable
large number of experiments show how easy it is to implant false memories into people's minds such that they refuse to admit that the memory is of an event that never happened.
simple remembering; rote learning
no underlying meaning and therefore dissicult
does not provide the what or how to fix when a problem arises
best to present different information over different modalities: sight, sound, touch, hearing, spacial location and gestures.
provide some structure: appropriate constraints and forcing functions, natural good mapping, feedforward and feedback
Create cognitive procedures
McNamara & O'Reilly suggest that this aids metacognition
Develop an awareness of one's own thought processes
Was comprehension successful?
Fix the comprehension
Different types of questions reveal different levels of understanding
Essay & open ended questions tap into a conceptual understanding of the material
Multiple choice questions reveal a shallow, text based understanding of the material
signal - something needs to be remembered
message - that which is to be remembered
controls are best positioned close to the item being controlled
can vary with culture
Encoding: moving information from STM to LTM (YouTube Video))
We can only hold 7 items (+/- 2) in STM at a time
least effective because it does not require new information to link to existing
group information into units that could relate to what is already known
imagery: detail picture of what is to be remembered
the crazier the picture, the easier to remember
method of loci
how the new information relates to you personally and how you can use it
preparing to teach as an example: it requires a lot more organizing of the information
spread out the study sessions over time rather than one massive study session
Knowledge is both in the head and in the world
Behavior is determined by combining the two
perfect behavior results if the combined knowledge (head & world) is sufficient to distinguish an appropriate choice from all others
constraints simplify memory by reducing the amount of what must be learned to a reasonable quantity
approximate models: memory in the real world
generally sufficient: the 'why' of particular knowledge is more important than the precision
when combined knowledge is no longer sufficient we look for distinguishing features.
Knowledge in the World
Knowledge in the environment
facts: which do not necessarily need to be true
Knowledge of 'how' to do something.
Learned by demonstration and practice
"Knowledge in the world and knowledge in the head are both essential in our daily functioning. But to some extent we can choose to lean more heavily on one or the other. That choice requires a tradeoff - gaining advantages of knowledge in the world means loosing the advantages of knowledge in the head." (Norman p. 109)
Knowledge in the world is readily and easily available assuming good design. It is easy when first encountered
Knowledge in the head is readily available if it is in working memory. From Long Term Memory, the search and effort may be considerable. The ease of first use is more difficult. However, if the knowledge is so well-learned that it is automated, then it can be very efficient.
Norman is addressing designers and technical individuals with the goal of making them better designers.
everyday people with the goal of enabling them to recognize absurd designs.
McNamara & O'Reilly are addressing an academic audience of educators
Questions raised by the author
McNamara & O'Reilly write to provide an overview of knowledge representation & organization and to offer 5 guidelines to improve knowledge acquisition & retrieval
Norman is providing an overview of types of knowledge and the relationship between the knowledge of the world and in memory and how design impacts our ability to perform