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Journal Article

Stimulus set size and statistical coverage of the grammar in artificial grammar learning

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Poletiek, F. H., & Van Schijndel, T. J. P. (2009). Stimulus set size and statistical coverage of the grammar in artificial grammar learning. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 16(6), 1058-1064. doi:10.3758/PBR.16.6.1058.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0005-8170-A
Adults and children acquire knowledge of the structure of their environment on the basis of repeated exposure to samples of structured stimuli. In the study of inductive learning, a straightforward issue is how much sample information is needed to learn the structure. The present study distinguishes between two measures for the amount of information in the sample: set size and the extent to which the set of exemplars statistically covers the underlying structure. In an artificial grammar learning experiment, learning was affected by the sample’s statistical coverage of the grammar, but not by its mere size. Our result suggests an alternative explanation of the set size effects on learning found in previous studies (McAndrews & Moscovitch, 1985; Meulemans & Van der Linden, 1997), because, as we argue, set size was confounded with statistical coverage in these studies. nt]mis|This research was supported by a grant from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research. We thank Jarry Porsius for his help with the data analyses.