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Computer Model Predicts Human Behavior

Computer Model Predicts Human BehaviorResearchers announce the development of a computer model that can predict how people will complete a controlled task and how the knowledge needed to complete that task develops over time

Frank Ritter, associate professor from Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology and his research associates, used the Soar programming language, which is designed to represent human knowledge, on a 20-trial circuit troubleshooting task.

The testing was most recently performed by 10 students at the University of Nottingham, UK.

Each participant was to identify faults in a circuit system after memorizing the organization of its components and switches. This process was repeated 20 times for each person, with the series of tests chosen randomly each time. Their choices and reaction times were recorded and compared with the computer model’s results.

Much like the students, the computer model, called Diag, learned as it went through each test and developed the knowledge for completing the task quickly and efficiently.

“The model does not merely accurately predict problem-solving time for the human participants; it also replicates the strategy that human participants use, and it learns at the same rate at which the participants learn,” Ritter said.

In most cases, the model came within two to four seconds of predicting how long it would take each participant to solve the problem and it fit eight out of the 10 participants’ problem-solving times very well. Ritter said the results outlined in the paper were consistent with previous trials, showing the development of regularity in the model.

“The project shows we can predict human learning on a fine-grained level,” Ritter said.

“Everyone thinks that’s possible, but here’s an actual model doing it. The model provides a detailed representation of how a transfer works, and that transfer process is really what education is about.”

Source: Penn State

Computer Model Predicts Human Behavior

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Computer Model Predicts Human Behavior. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 20, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2008/11/10/computer-model-predicts-human-behavior/3303.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.