Cover: Individual differences in knowledge acquisition from maps

Individual differences in knowledge acquisition from maps

Published 1979

by Perry W. Thorndyke, Cathy Stasz

Purchase Print Copy

 Format Price
Add to Cart Paperback52 pages $23.00

Investigated strategies people use to acquire knowledge from maps. Three expert and five novice map users studied a map and provided verbal protocols of their study behavior. Analysis of learning protocols suggested four categories of processes that were invoked during learning: attention, encoding, evaluation, and control. Large individual differences in both performance and strategy usage were observed in this task. Analyses of performance and strategy data revealed that use of certain strategies in each category, particularly those used for encoding spatial information, was most predictive of learning performance. In addition, good learners differed from poor learners in their ability to evaluate their learning progress and to focus their attention on unlearned information. An analysis of performance of map-using experts suggested that success in learning depended on strategies and not on familiarity with the task domain or materials. The implications of these results for training expertise in map learning are discussed.

This report is part of the RAND report series. The report was a product of RAND from 1948 to 1993 that represented the principal publication documenting and transmitting RAND's major research findings and final research.

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit

RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.