Adoption of efficient strategies and tactics in performing tasks can have a profound impact on performance. The present research aimed to incorporate strategies and tactics into traditional models of skill acquisition, focusing on ability-performance relationships and the learning curve. The study involved 116 participants completing a series of ability tests (general, perceptual speed and psychomotor) and performing 54 trials on a text editing task. For each trial, speed, accuracy and strategy use were logged. Results showed that both abilities and adoption of superior strategies made unique contributions to predicting performance and that strategy partially mediated the ability-performance relationship. Performance and strategy use improved over time with strategy use in later trials making an incremental prediction on later trial performance over and above that of early trial performance. Results went against theories predicting changes in ability-performance correlations over time. Implications for the development of cognitive architectures are also explored.
Proceedings CogSci 2005 : 27th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, Stresa, Italy, 21-23 July 2005,