How individual differences in cognitive ability influence acquisition and transfer of strategic comparison skills was examined as a function of learning difficulty. Using a cognitive test battery, we classified forty-nine participants into three cognitive ability groups. Participants in each group were trained to compare similar (difficult training) or dissimilar (easy training) stimuli and then transferred to compare novel stimuli. Results suggest that overall individual differences in cognitive ability dictate the optimality of strategic skill development, though the effect of training difficulty on transfer performance varies with cognitive ability. Individuals with a midrange of cognitive ability are the most sensitive to the training context. Results are discussed with respect to the characteristics of strategic skills acquired and transferred.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology