The impact of individual differences and learning context on strategic skill acquisition and transfer

Young Woo Sohn, Stephanie M. Doane, Teena Garrison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-30
Number of pages18
JournalLearning and Individual Differences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Feb 27


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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