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Learning to reason about other people's mind

Mol, L. (2004) Learning to reason about other people's mind. Master's Thesis / Essay, Artificial Intelligence.

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Two problems occur when trying to explain cognitive skill acquisition with the classical theory of skill acquisition [37]. One is that cognitive skills build on one another, which is not possible after skills are automated, because deliberate access to automated processes is limited. The second is that for some tasks, people are only able to describe why they are doing them in a certain way, after expert level performance has been reached [19]. This is not in accordance with the classical theory, in which experts make use of automated processes that are part of implicit memory. Research on cognitive skill acquisition can lead to a better understanding of human cognition. More specific, it would be interesting to know what role reflective reasoning processes such as reasoning about others, metacognition and self-monitoring play in cognitive skill acquisition. This knowledge could be applied in the design of artificial tutors and conversational agents. As a first step in the right direction, this study has investigated to what extent people acquire and use complex skills and strategies in the domains of reasoning about others and natural language use, specifically. when playing the game Master(s)Mind(s). An experiment was conducted in which participants played Mlaster(s)Mind(s).a competitive head to head game (see chapter 4). In playing this game, it was beneficial to participants to have a mental model of the opponent, and to be aware of scalar implicatures. The complex skills that participants to this experiment could use were the application of their theory of mind, and reasoning from implicated meaning. A strategy to be developed was the strategy of being as uninformative as possible and to be aware that the opponent might do so as well. To achieve this, it was necessary for participants to be aware of the knowledge and desires of their opponent. It was expected that participants would shift their language use from pragmatic to more logical, while repeatedly playing Master(s)Mind(s). Pragmatic language use can be described by Grice's quantity maxim, which is meant to be applied to cooperative conversation. It was expected that once people became familiar with the uncooperative context, people's language use would no longer be in accordance with this maxim. Therefore, pragmatic implicatures would no longer be used by partipants. which would result in more logical language use. Contrary to the predictions, most participants did not shift to a more logical language use. It was found that some participants made use of advanced cognitive skills like second order theory of mind use, logical language use and drawing pragmatic inferences, but participants did not seem to acquire these complex skills during the experiment. It can therefore be concluded that these skills can be transferred from other domains to the domain of playing Master(s)Mind(s), which suggests that they are not part of implicit memory. No conclusive evidence was found for the hypothesis that playing Master(s)-Mind(s) and developing a strategy for it, can be seen as a form of dual-tasking. This also holds for the hypothesis that pragmatic language use results from an automated process. which can be overruled by a deliberate reasoning process. resulting in logical language use. Ideas to find conclusive evidence for these hypotheses are presented in section 6.3.

Item Type: Thesis (Master's Thesis / Essay)
Degree programme: Artificial Intelligence
Thesis type: Master's Thesis / Essay
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 07:30
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2018 07:30

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