In Search Of… The Wary Student, Part II: Load and Behavior

Pack your bags, look to the stars, and prepare to go in search of…


This post will began by describing Cognitive Load, and continue by refreshing the viewr on Cooperative Behavior (previously discussed in The Wary Guerrilla). Last, today’s contribution will discuss how these concepts work in the mind and, more important, in the classroom.

Cognitive load is composed of the the “the number and nature of component skills involved.. and the complexity of the goal hierarchy” (Paas & van Merrienboer, 1994, 355). Two aspects of cognitive load are the the split-attention effect (where information is physically separated on a page) and redundancy effect (where information is repeated in different media) (Kalyuga, Chandler, & Sweller, 2000). While discovered in their contemporary form in the 1980s and 1990s (Sweller & Chandler, 1991), they have been observed for generations (Miller, 1937; Sonneschein, 1982 Sweller & Chandler, 1994) across many domains of knowledge (Mwangi & Sweller, 1998).

This study rejects the notion, found in some academic literature (Dixon, 1991; Goldman, 1991), that cognitive load theory is impractical. Instead, this research seeks cognitive load as an necessary part of instructional design. By establishing how wary student behavior is effected by cognitive load, this paper continues the work of uniting motivational and cognitive psychology (Sherman & Sherman, 1999) and, more importantly, allows students to do and learn more in educational settings.

The wary student is a pro-social, cooperative individual driven by a distaste for unfairness as much as a desire for personal gain. He helps those who have unjust difficulty in completing work, though goes out of his way to cause trouble for cheaters who try to take advantage of others.

Cooperative Behavior is hypothesized to be an instinctual reaction to group life, while self-interested behavior is presumed to be the product of reflection and reationality. Therefore, this research will increase the subjects’ cognitive load in order to deter them from reflecting on their actions — the assumption is that this increased load will increase cooperative behavior.

All research faces the “so what? question, and here the answer is obvious: cooperation is sometimes very good, sometimes very bad, but always very important in a classroom. Cooperation means peer-on-peer tutoring, but it also means peer-on-peer cheating and peer-on-peer revenge. If manipulating cognitive load effects these actions, the ability to alter such load becomes an important tool for teachers.

Alford & Hibbing noted that, as humans, “we have an innate inclination to cooperate, particularly within defined group boundaries, but we are also highly sensitive to selfish actions on the part of other group members” (2004, 709). This is a foundation for the theory of wary cooperatives, people who often display “two, often competing desire: They want a reputation as a fair, desirable, possibly generous, but certainly not foolish person [but also] worry about members oft the group who would take advantage of others if given the chance” (Hibbing & Alford, 2004, 65) Wary cooperators are “inherently disposed to be group oriented, high sensitive to be taken advantage of, and willing to incur costs to punish others who are perceived as putting themselves above the group” (Smith, 2006, 1013).

Related to the concept of the wary cooperator is the wary guerrilla. As outlined by The Wary Guerrilla, the wary guerrilla is a type of cooperator who accepts an absolute reduction in welfare to punish unjust partners. Wary Guerrillas would rather they end up worse than they began as long as the unfair person did not escape punishment. More information on the details of this experiment appear later in this paper.

In Search Of, a tdaxp series
1. Educational Psychology
2. Load and Behavior
3. Experiments
4. Conclusions
5. Bibliography

4GW Christianity Around the Blogosphere

Barnett, T.P.M. (2007). Why the yin disconnects from the yang. Thomas P.M. Barnett :: Weblog. February 3, 2007. Available online:

Dunbar, L. (2007). Friction. Larry Dunbar. February 7, 2007. Available online:

Weeks, C.G. (2007). Tying loose ends. Dreaming 5GW. February 7, 2007. Available online:

Just as last week saw a flurry of discussion on global guerrillas theory (and its definition), this week saw a wave of posts on tdaxp and early Christianity.


Recently, Larry Dunbar offered his critique of my view of power as displayed in Jesusism-Paulism.

TDAXP has a good, as always, piece going that examines friction and nation building. Because Dan has to, somewhat, pander to his base, his examination of friction is not quite what I believe to be accurate. Overall, we will both probably get to similar conclusions, but our understanding of how forces flow is different.

Dan is correct when he says, “Generally, there are two means to use against an enemy–violence and politics–and two strategies–take-over and take-down.” The tactics are force and the strategies are displacements.

However, his reassigning Peaceful to mean political is grossly wrong. There is nothing peaceful about politics, it is only because it has mostly potential energy does it seem peaceful.

Larry’s corrected graphic

As for my conclusions to Dan’s post, I conclude that the great internal forces that Christianity was able to produce was combined with Rome’s ability to displace across a great area. This created a great momentum that was able to carry Rome, until the internal pressure was destroyed by possibly greed and hate.

My writings on early Christianity are currently divided into five sections.

1. Love Your Enemy As You Would Have Him Love You
2. Caiaphas and Diocletian Did Know Better
3. Every Man a Panzer, Every Woman a Soldat
4. The Fall of Rome
5. The People of the Book

More thoughts, by Curtis of Dreaming 5GW and Tom of Barnett :: The Weblog appear below the fold.

Curtis, a skeptic of early Christianity’s 4th Generation nature, also posted his views:

the abstract description of Christianity as a “Religion of Love” does not mesh well with the actual historical Christianity. Christians in the army did not “turn the other cheek” and love their neighbors, but killed their foes on the battlefield. The implication is that Christianity may have begun as a “religion of love” but became corrupted through interaction with the Roman system. I wrote a comment in answer to Michael, importing ideas from the anthropologist Marvin Harris, which he gave in his book Our Kind:

The Roman Empire gained citizens who cared much less about earthly rewards or avoiding suffering — suffering was indeed a test of faith, “Christly” — which made dying on the battlefield less of a concern. Christians who died defeating heathen invaders would be rewarded with heaven in the afterlife. But also Rome did not need to gain the loyalty of Christians by overseeing their welfare. Given the size of the Roman empire, managing the welfare of all its citizens proved too complex, particularly as populations grew and resources diminished. A citizenry accustomed to seeing suffering and poverty as a test of faith would not be as likely to blame the central government for these things; suffering was a private, personal matter quite related to one’s own spirituality. Also, a citizenry that was leaning toward Christianity was a citizenry less likely to revolt; they’d be “turning the other cheek” and living in “meekness”. However, Christian leaders worked with Constantine to ensure that Christians in the common classes were indeed protected, in order to preserve the meek classes benefiting Rome. As Marvin Harris wrote,

This made the Church economically independent from the state, vitally and dynamically, but more importantly, this shifted oversight of the welfare of the people to the Church from the state, i.e., shifted dependencies. The Church had an additional advantage over the state: It could use redistribution of wealth to help the needy, and thus gain their loyalty, but because it was also the highest earthly authority of God, it could also define the level of suffering required for salvation. The two metrics for determining loyalty were co-operative. The question of what happened to (1) the doctrine of turning the other cheek and (2) the prediction that the meek would inherit the Earth is a good question, given the rise of the Roman Catholic hierarchy and the eventual militarization of Christianity. It would seem that the early Christian bishops sold those doctrines to the highest bidder: The mass of Christians would not fight Rome, but fight for Rome, provided that Rome shared power; but to every non-Christian state, the meekness would not be offered. In time, the highest bidder might be England, or France, or any Christian European state that would share power. Meanwhile, the self-interest of individual Christians in Europe, their primary loyalty, required at least an overt display of loyalty to Church and Country, if not a deep loyalty to one or the other or both — for a time.

(The bit about welfare and economic independents is similar to what Tom Barnett wrote in “The Rising Tide of Religion in China.)

On the subject of Barnett, his post “Why the yin disconnects from the yang first echoes comments made in my series on 4GW Christianity, Jesusism-Paulisn, Part I: Love Your Enemy as You Would Have Him Love You:

And here’s the most amazing/infuriating part: you can’t think systematically about the future until you master this most essential rule set–love your enemies more than yourself.

Not pity them. Not get inside their heads. Not access their worldview.

That’s all child’s play–parlor games for TV talking heads.

I mean, really love them more than yourself. Connect in the worst way–humbling, humiliating, can’t-look-away.

To me, that sort of knowledge isn’t sympathy or empathy or any of the “-thies.” To me, it’s the most profound sort of understanding there is, making you capable of great intelligence and even wisdom in your strategic decision-making. You go way beyond the superficial understanding of his “loop” and how you get inside it. You really figure your opponent out in the deepest way. So this isn’t some goofy religious belief system I’m trying to enunciate here. This isn’t a form of intellectual withdrawal. I’m talking about a break-on-through-to-the-other-side type wisdom here–where the whole game slows down for you and you can see the entire playing field from a God’s eye view. I’m talking about serious control–you know, making the Matrix bend to your will.

And then extends them, implying a 5GW path to victory:

Naivete is operating under the assumption that this fight hasn’t already been decided. What we negotiate all along are the terms, and to slant that negotiation to the greatest extent possible, you have to get past the hate (especially the self-hatred), and connect.

The real 5GWer never claims victory, never recognizes a loss. All victories are claimed by others, by design. All “losses” simply set up the next iterative victory.

The most profound manipulation involves the most profound emotions, and love trumps hate every time. That’s why humanity won out over the rest. That’s how we evolve. That’s how we progress.

But if you want to achieve real objectivity, you have to leave the fears behind. As long as you drag them along, they drag you down. You see only what you know and you know only what you see..

After I mentioned the similarity, Tom extended some very kind wishes.