Category Archives: UNL / Human Cognition & Instruction

Final Thoughts on Human Cognition and Instruction

Today was the final class in Human Cognition and Instruction, taught by Dr. K. I knew my final grade last week, and final evaluations were handed in at the end of session today.

It was the best class I have had at , and Dr. K is the best instructor I have had in any graduate class, ever.

While I only published my notes for the first half of class or so, in just those weeks we discussed

Dr. K invented the SOAR Cognition Loop. Developed independently of Boyd’s OODA loop, it is best thought of a OODA in a classroom setting. However, it’s not just a “special case” of OODA like Special Relativity is a “special case” of general relativity — rather, it is symbolic framework for mechanically modeling thought that, when combined with the triz creativity system, provides a breathtaking view of human cognition.

My biggest regret this semester, as far as this blog is concerned, is not doing the material in this class justice. In a sense, the tdaxp blog is just my public attempt to properly understand Dr. Barnett, Col. Boyd, and Col. Hammes. I have to add Dr K to that list. This was a first step.

In a recent post, Dr. Barnett asked, “We can either do or we can teach, now which is it going to be?” Dr. K does both. Superbly.

SOAR to Win

Test next week
– 70 questions
– multiple choice mostly

Ineffective learning
– with the strong people
– poor lists instead of matricies
– but have to select with eye toward organization

Some words on reinforcement
– reward after a fixed interval
– easy to extinguish
– rapid responses
variable intervals
– reward after a random interval
– hard to extinguish
– steady responses
– rapid response rates
– slow response rates

(International Law, Social Cognition, and SOAR?)

SOAR Learning strategies / skills
(SOAR book by the instructor!!! this guy is an excellent teacher)


The SOAR Study System
– SOAR teaches learner assertiveness and responsibility
– super-empowerment?

Selection (Attention / Observation)
– noke taking and achievement
– note completeness
– attention and storage functions
– lecture cues
– repeating lectures
– what to do before, during, and after lectures
– more “selection” needed for listening than for reading?

Organization (Representation / earlier Orientation)
– order topics and categories
– create multiple representations

Associate (Connections / latter Orientation – not rehearse!)
– internal associations
– external associations

Regulate (Act/Test — “self-test”)
– types of test questions
– error analysis
– involves single-fact questions, relational-fact questions, and concept (recognize new examples) questions, and skills questions

(“teacher A+” is a SOAR teacher: pre-selected, pre-organized, pre-associated, pre-regulated? A+ = Teacher-Centric SOAR? )
(but… is it useful for teachers to hand-out notes?)

SOAR step 1: Selection
note-taking postively correlated with achievement (reason for success of 5GW — hard to “achieve” against?)
– but, students are incomplete notetakers (maybe record a third of the main points? freshmen only record 11%?)
– two functions of note taking:
— encoding (processing) = note-taking itself helps memorization – probably, but inconclusive evidence for this
— storage (external, review) = secondary data source for future studying – absolutely helps (because people have lousy memories), even when the non-review group gets to see the lecture twice

Lecture Cues Study

Org Points Detail Points
Cued 54% 80%

Non-Cued 15% 37%

(80% note-taking is phenomenal — remember it)

Study on Repeating a Lecture
– existing demonstrated students learn more with each repitition of lecture (church implications? – so why no note-taking in church? more focued on changing orientation?)
– on first viewing, people recording 80% of main ideas, and 35% of details
– on second viewing, people recording 80% (!) of main ideas, and 50% of details
– on third viewing, people recording 80% (!!) of main ideas, and 65%

useful to provide skeleton outline to students? what about to enemy? “we’re going to do this, then, there, this way, because” — Bush and Iraq?
– jumps note-taking to about 65%
– blank space invites students to fill it?

(86% chance of student writing down something if it is written on the board – criticism of powerpoint?)

A study on provided notes
– students could aquire by taking notes, listening, or not attend
– could review through own notes (if they had), both theirs and the instructor, or just instructors
– instructor notes “very high quality”
(while giving these notes, SuperTeacher made class predict test outcomes)
– from best to worst performers, test performance
– Take / Reviewd Both (71%)
– Not Attend, Instructor (69%)
– Listen, Instructor (63%)
– Take, Own (51%)
– Take, Mentally (44%)
– Listen, Mentally (43%)
– Not Attend, Mentaly (33%)
– this study was “very controversial”
– cliff notes implications!! “in a nutshell” implications
– so getting another student’s learn is a good way to learn

Lecture Strategies
before the lecture: be there / on time, up front / on the edge (of the seat)
during the lecture: get it all / fast / now (st: “impose your will”) / again
after: fill up / fix up
– how does this apply to states?

Organization (Representation / early Orientation)
alert words imply proper representation (phases, stages, steps, etc)
diagraming as training to think — like Law as training to virtue?
remember matrices, etc, should be well organized
multiple representations – often it is best to use different representations for different parts of levels of material

hwo does social cognition relate to behavioralism? that is, if someone feels bad because they see another hurt, is their modified behavior because of social cognition or behaviorism? international law implications?

Three main types of questions:
Facts – what is?
Concept – recognize an exmaple
Skill – do it
– how to apply to computer teaching?
– does student privacy regulations impede social cognition?
– does national sovereignty of information impede international law?
– Hammes et al care about about skill learning than fact/concept
– which brings up, purposeful action without knowing the purpose (5GW implications?)

error analysis
– test retakes as part of SOAR learning?
– types of reanalysis (content / type / source of error;why did you get it wrong?;what part of SOAR was missing?)

Forgetting and Representing

Rules for Remembering Names and Places
– modified keyword method
– 1. form a substitute word, phrase, or thought that will remind you of the name (use a visual with a story)
– 2. find one outstanding feature on the face
– 3. associate the two things (visual story)
– name / face / thought in mental triangle
– called the “Zip” method

Construction and Reconstruction
– a process of distortion to make an easy pattern
– part of learning and forgetting
– “We fill in the lowlands of our memory from the highlands of our imgination”
– example: a story is told about an engaged couple who quarrel. A week later, if the group is told the engagement is off, they remember the fight as worse. Else, they remember the fight as minor.
– implications for early Christianity?
– when you assume a fact in a question, you can make someone “remember” (reconstruct) the assumed fact
– Cathecism / Christian FAQ implications?
– reconstructed narratives == “framing” ?

“Failure to Construct” / “Failure to Encode” as “forgetting” — “I forgot your name” — did you ever remember it?
– without correct context, narratives are very hard to remember
– reason titles are important: it actives prior knowledge

– “good students test themselves, so there’s nothing the teacher can ask them that they haven’t asked themselves”
– Clausewitzian? slow OODA? scientific or “zero-defect” strategy?
– importance of being flexible, able, to deform an environment (by applying friction) into more easily conquorable battlespace
– (how did early Christianity deform Roman “regime ” to make victory easier?)
– for example, deforming a story problem into an algebra problem
– “application skill,” Boydian, empowerment, Sun-Tzu
– “metacognition it not just an academic skill, it is a life skill”
– self-awareness and self-questioning
– works with situational memories
– “visualization as form of metacognition”
— people who visualize freethrows imporve almost as much as those who actually practice
— so could universities be an example of harmful visualization / learning, where “thought experiments” that provide non-real outcomes impede understanding?
— competence and domination, pecking order visualization, Howard Bloom’s “Lucifer Principle”
— “breaking confidence” as cognitive/metacognitive/visualized battlespace?

You need skill (metacognition) and will (desire) to learn — true????

Memory and learning strategies decrease in importance as general knowledge increases

– importance of non-sequential learning (not “reading” or “listening”)
– semiotics implications

Introduction to Knowledge Representations
Compare Outline v. Matrix
Localization Seperated v. Together
Clutter Repititious v. Efficient
Missing Info Obscured v. Apparent
“Big Picture” Obscrued v. Apparent

Matrices are better/faster than outlines
– (because of human visual processing / pattern recognition?)

only good reason to use representations is to know patterns and relationships, otherwise useless

Representation Systems
– superordinate/subordinate
– rule of thumb: if you have 7 or more of anything, you have nothing (sheik system?)
– every hierarchy can become a matrix
– think above, below, lateral
sequences – temporal
matrices – coordinate/comparative
diagram/illustration – static/dynamic

Recalling Instruction using Cognition

Internal and External Connections

Means of Encoding

internation connections – relations between conceps in a text — within the info being learned
external connectiosn – relations between new materials and existing knowledge

(students try to learn piecemeal through memorization)

internal connections – building is like databize normalization, like chunking
external connections – are like analogies

“really hard to find similarities and differences: analogies and contraditions, when presented as text instead of diagrams
– think of teaching anatomy – teach bones or the whole skeleton?

Memory Techniques (“tricks,” “mnemonics”)
pegword method – good for learning lists
(but watch for contrasting lists!)
have pegs for numbers (“shoe” for 2, “tree” for 3, etc)
uses external connections and visual imagery (visions increase memorization)
anectodate: trouble is creating new list on the same day (memory interference)
good for memorizing, such as speech points?

Levels of Processing (“Depths of Processing”)
the deeper (the more meaningfully) information is processed, the more it is remembered
(re: meaningful violence? framing in politics?)
so the more you know, the easier to learn more?
(inert knowledge – non-recalled, disconnected knowledge — especially a problem with schoolchildren)

More Mnemonics
First Letter – roy g biv, apstndp, sohcahtoa, etc
Method of Loci (locations): put things in house, similar to pegwords but order can be troublesome
Keyword: emphasis on picture learnings (“pato = duck,” so remember a duck in a pot or wearing a pot) – consequences for kanji?

Cognition, International Law, and Human Struggle

An experiment gives students cues or not, makes them takes notes or not

How well do notes reflect note-taking mandatoriness or cues? What is the quality of the notes?

W/O Cues: Organization (Major) Points: 15%, Detail (Minor) Points: 37%
W/ Cues: Organization (Major) Points: 54%, Detail (Minor) Points: 80%

So /explaining what you are doing makes it more likely to be noted/. But what about recall?

Organization Points:

  Organization Points Details
  Notes No Notes Notes No Notes
W/ Organization Cutes 64 41 49 24
10 5 20 22

Big improvement (5% -> 41%) for recall without notes with organization cues!

Cues are more important than notes

  • Like run-up to iraq war
  • study of college studies
  • drawback: test was immediate (not time-delayed)
  • note that cues dramatically effect “organization points” but not so much “detail points”

Other distractions
“sometimes when it is very quiet almost any sound will distract you” — 5GW?

when you “rehease” itmes, it stays in short-term memory but doesn’t go in long-term memory

So attacks should latch onto old knwowledge — meaningful violence

Probability of recall is high near the beginning of a series, low in the middle, high again near the end

for battle for perception, start and end well, do what you want in hte middle?

international law is weakest mid-conflict?

similar to “jumbled” (“jmelubd”) words?

but if there is a distraction, the end of the series is forgotten too!

-so end as you will (weak International Law) but use distractions?

If international law — social cognition, is the same true for social cognition?

chunking — remembering in pieces
– how to apply to human struggle?
– 7 +/- 2: short term memory

recoding systems as way to form complex information
– rhetoric as recoding

Shortm Term Memory (STM) Limitations)

Strategy: Time, Rehearsal; Capacity, Chunking
Limitation: Time, 20 seconds; Capacity, 7 +/- 2
Evidence: Time, recency and tigram experiments; Capacity, digit span

know how big a “bit” is to a student

Application of Concepts
only a few new concepts
repitition to emphasize and elaborate
“note taking is taking for short term memory” — slows down OODA loop? (note taking = methodical warfare?)
provide cutes, avoid worthless redundancies

Cognition & Instruction in the Context of Human Struggle

The most useful and interesting class I am taking is not even in my major, and I may not be able to continue taking it. But EDPS 854: Human Cognition & Instruction is crazy-useful.

Below are my notes for the latest lecture, where the processor’s comments are interposed with my own:

Cognition and Instruction

Three Learning Perspectives
Behaviorism — establishment’s center
Cognition — insurgency’s center
Social Cognition — zone of contestment

Model: ( S1 – [ R ) – S2 ] (stimulus – response and response – feedback)
“change implicit guidance & control”
strategy: repitition & reinforcement
mammalian / vertical thought

Model: S1 – (COGNITION) – R – S2
“rearrange the minds”
build mental pictures
“remember ‘Dover, Delaware’ by thinking of Don DeLoise releasing Doves in his Underwear'”
human / horizontal thought

Social Cognition
“change in mental associations”
Model: (S1) – R – S2 (focus on Observation)
mimickery as learning
strategy: students oberve others interacting
observe someone else’s reinforcement
human / verticla thought (?)

Types of Attention

Automatic: Pre-Attention
Selective: Focul Attention

– taking in information and perform a task automatically
– rearrange minds, exploit implicit guidance & control
– enables fast OODA cycling
– relation to fingertip-feeling

Spectrum of Thought (?)
<--- automaticity ---- fingertip-feeling --- comprehension --->