Academic journal article Attention, Perception and Psychophysics

Acquisition Process of Typing Skill Using Hierarchical Materials in the Japanese Language

Academic journal article Attention, Perception and Psychophysics

Acquisition Process of Typing Skill Using Hierarchical Materials in the Japanese Language

Article excerpt

Published online: 30 May 2014

© The Author(s) 2014. This article is published with open access at Springerlink.com

Abstract In the present study, using a new keyboard layout with only eight keys, we conducted typing training for unskilled typists. In this task, Japanese college students received training in typing words consisting of a pair of hiragana characters with four keystrokes, using the alphabetic input method, while keeping the association between the keys and typists' finger movements; the task was constructed so that chunking was readily available. We manipulated the association between the hiragana characters and alphabet letters (hierarchical materials: overlapped and nonoverlapped mappings). Our alphabet letter materials corresponded to the regular order within each hiragana word (within the four letters, the first and third referred to consonants, and the second and fourth referred to vowels). Only the interkeystroke intervals involved in the initiation of typing vowel letters showed an overlapping effect, which revealed that the effect was markedly large only during the early period of skill development (the effect for the overlapped mapping being larger than that for the nonoverlapped mapping), but that it had diminished by the time of late training. Conversely, the response time and the third interkeystroke interval, which are both involved in the latency of typing a consonant letter, did not reveal an overlapped effect, suggesting that chunking might be useful with hiragana characters rather than hiragana words. These results are discussed in terms of the fan effect and skill acquisition. Furthermore, we discuss whether there is a need for further research on unskilled and skilled Japanese typists.

Keywords Acquisition of typing skill * Priming * Japanese language * Typewriting * Fan effect * Chunking * Mora

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Typing skills have become ubiquitous worldwide, especially among youths in developedWestern countries, because of the popularization of personal computers. Logan and his colleagues (e.g., Crump & Logan, 2010a, 2010b, 2010c; Liu, Crump, & Logan, 2010; Logan & Crump, 2009, 2010, 2011; Snyder, Ashitaka, Shimada, Ulrich, & Logan, 2014; Yamaguchi, Crump, & Logan, 2013; Yamaguchi & Logan, 2014; Yamaguchi, Logan, & Li, 2013) have extensively explored the control of cognitive processes involved in typewriting1 and have proposed the two-loop theory of skilled typewriting (see Logan & Crump, 2011, for a summary of this theory; see also Yamaguchi, Crump, & Logan, 2013; Yamaguchi, Logan, & Li, 2013, for an illustration of this theory). The theory proposes that, in skilled typists, the outer loop represents a higher-level control process involved in comprehending sentences, decomposing sentences into words, and submitting the words to the inner loop, whereas the inner loop represents a lower-level control process that is responsible for receiving the words from the outer loop, activating the keystrokes in parallel, and executing them in accurate order.

Although the typing skills in youths in developed Western countries are robust, several researchers have demonstrated that skilled performance can deteriorate by disabling one of several associations that support skilled typing: (a) the association between words and letters (Crump & Logan, 2010b; Logan & Crump, 2011); (b) the association between letters and keys (Liu et al., 2010; Logan, 2003); or (c) the association between keys and finger movements (Crump & Logan, 2010a). Recently, research conducted by Yamaguchi and Logan (2014) demonstrated that a manipulation preventing the skilled typists from chunking in perception, short-term memory, and motor planning could cause previously skilled typists to again be unskilled. The authors suggested that chunking played an important role in the processing of several letters and keystrokes in skilled typewriting. …

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