How to Cite
Córdoba, M., & Larreamendy Joerns, J. (2007). Variation in experimentation styles and domain specific knowledge. Acta Colombiana De Psicología, 10(1), 25–34. Retrieved from

 Authors who publish in this journal agree to the following terms:

 Acta Colombiana de Psicología complies with international intellectual property and copyright laws, and particularly with Article No. 58 of the Political Constitution of Colombia, Law No. 23 of 1982, and the Agreement No. 172 of September 30, 2010 (Universidad Católica de Colombia Intellectual Property Regulation).

 Authors retain their copyright and grant to the Acta Colombiana de Psicología the right of first publication, with the work registered under Creative Commons attribution license, which allows third parties to use the published material, provided they credit the authorship of the work and the first publication in this Journal.


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.



Chase, W. G., and Simon, H. A. (1973). The mind’s eye in chess. En W. G. Chase (Ed.), Visual information processing (pp. 215–281). New York: Academic Press.

Chen, Z. & Klahr, D. (1999). All other things being equal: Acquisition and transfer of the control of variables strategy. Child Development, 70(5), 1098-1120.

Chi, M. T. H., Feltovich, P. J., & Glaser, R. (1981). Categorization and representation of physics problems by experts and novices. Cognitive Science, 5, 121-152.

Chi, M.T.H. & Ohlsson, S. (2005). Complex declarative learning. En K. J. Holyoak & R. G. Morrison (Eds.), The Cambridge handbook of thinking and reasoning (Pp. 371-399). Cambridge University Press.

Dunbar, K. (2001). What scientific thinking reveals about the nature of cognition. En Crowley, K., Schunn, D.C., Okada, T. (Eds.) Designing for science: Implications from everyday, classroom, and professional settings (pp. 83-114). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Dunbar, K., & Fungelsang (2005). Scientific thinking and reasoning. En K. J. Holyoak & R. G. Morrison (Eds.), The Cambridge handbook of thinking and reasoning (pp. 705-726). New York: Cambridge University Press.

Klahr, D., & Dunbar, K. (1988). Dual space search during scientific reasoning. Cognitive Science, 12(1), 1-48.

Klahr, D., & Nigam, M. (2004). The equivalence of learning paths in early science instruction: Effects of direct instruction and discovery learning. Psychological Science, 15(10), 661-667.

Klahr, D., & Simon, H. A. (1999). Studies of scientific discovery: Complementary approaches and convergent findings. Psychological Bulletin, 125(5), 524-543.

Klahr, D., Dunbar, K., Fay, A. L., Penner, D. E., & Schunn, C. D. (2000). Exploring science: The cognition and development of discovery processes. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

Kuhn, D., Garcia-Mila, M., Zohar, A. & Andersen, C. (1995). Strategies of knowledge acquisition. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 60 (4).

Kulkarni, D., & Simon, H. A. (1988). The processes of scientific discovery: The strategy of experimentation. Cognitive Science, 12(1), 139-175.

Larreamendy-Joerns, J., & Sandino, J. C. (2004). Biology fieldwork: Doing science and finding identity in the grass. Trabajo presentado como parte del simposio “Conversation, activity, and informal learning”, Kevin Crowley (Presidente). Reunión anual de la American Educational Research Association. San Diego, 2004.

Larreamendy-Joerns, J., Sandino, J. C., & Tascón, R. (2001). Cuando saber es preguntar: Comprensión, formulación de preguntas y conocimiento en biología evolutiva. Revista Colombiana de Psicología,10, 68-80.

Nersessian, N. J. (1992). How do scientists think? Capturing the dynamics of conceptual change in science. In R. N. Giere (Ed.), Cognitive models of science. Minnesota studies in the philosophy of science (pp. 3-44). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Newell, A. and Simon, H. A. (1972). Human problem solving. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Okada, T., & Simon, H. A. (1997). Collaborative discovery in a scientific domain. Cognitive Science, 21(1), 109-146.

Schauble, L., Glaser, R., Raghavan, K., & Reiner, M. (1991). Causal models and experimentation strategies in scientifi c reasoning. The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 1(2), 201-238.

Schunn, C. D., & Anderson:, J. R. (1999). The generality/specificity of expertise in scientific reasoning. Cognitive Science, 23(3), 337-370.

Simon, H. A. (1966). Scientific discovery and the psychology of problem solving. In R. Colodny (Ed.), Mind and cosmos (pp. 22-40). Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press.

Sun, Y., Newstetter, W., & Nersessian, N. J. (2006). Promoting model-based reasoning in problem-based learning. Trabajo presentado en la reunión anual de la Cognitive Science Society, Vancouver, Canadá.

Thagard, P. (1998). Ulcers and bacteria: Discovery and acceptance. Studies in History and Philosophy of Biology and Biomedical Science, 29, 107-136.

Trafton, J. G., Trickett, S. B., Stitzlein, C. A., Saner, L., Schunn, C., & Kirschenbaum, S. S. (2006). The relationship between spatial transformations and iconic gestures. Spatial Cognition & Computation, 6(1), 1-29.

Trickett, S., Trafton, G., Schunn, C., & Harrison, A. (2001). “That’s odd!” How scientists respond to anomalous data. Trabajo presentado en la reunión anual de la Cognitive Science Society, Edimburgo, Reino Unido.

VanLehn, K. (1989). Problem solving and cognitive skill acquisition. En M. I. Posner (Ed.), Foundations of cognitive science (pp. 526-579). Cambridge, MA: M. I. T. Press.


Download data is not yet available.

Reference by

Sistema OJS 3 - Metabiblioteca |