Date of Award

August 2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Michael Kalish


function learning, transfer learning

Subject Categories

Social and Behavioral Sciences


A transfer task was used to test whether people rely on rules or associations to learn a function. The primary function that everyone received was an inverse absolute value function. The secondary transfer functions that had a similar rule were flip conditioned or shift conditioned version of the primary function. The secondary function representing association was a parabola condition shaped function, which had input-output pairs closest to the primary function. It is expected that since the Parabola condition has less deviations from the trained function that if people favor associations then it would be easier, despite it having a very different rule than the primary function. The flip condition is the farthest from the primary function followed by the shift condition, but they have a similar shape, rule-wise to the primary function so if people have the least trouble on these functions then they might favor rules. The subjects had the most trouble with the Parabola condition so seem to favor rules when learning a function.


Open Access



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