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VARIATION IN EXPERIMENTATION STYLES AND DOMAIN-SPECIFIC KNOWLEDGE

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Author(s): Córdoba, Mario | Larreamendy-Joerns, Jorge

Journal: Acta Colombiana de Psicologia
ISSN 0123-9155

Volume: 10;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 25;
Date: 2007;
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Keywords: scientific discovery | cognition | experimental strategies | domain-specific knowledge

ABSTRACT
This study explored the relationship between experimental strategies and domain-specific knowledge within a task of scientific discovery. Groups of expert biologists, experimental psychologists, and lay people in both biology and experimentation were asked to solve a task on population ecology, which implied reaching an equilibrium between preys and predators through parameter manipulation. Success rates, depth and breath of search, and global styles of experimentation were analyzed. Results indicated that experimentation styles are associated with the participants' prior knowledge. Novices engaged in an extensive search through the scope of the problem, whereas expert participants focused their research process on a limited number of parameters
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