LEARNING AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF EXPECTANCIES: AN INTERACTIONIST APPROACH


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Abstract

Learning and the growth of expectancies are conceived in terms of an interactionist approach to acquisition of knowledge. The basic argument is that inherent, biologically based biases initially determine a listener's attention to music events. Attending is assumed to rest heavily on temporal activities and upon operation of attending rhythms. Consequently, many initial biases take the form of immediate responses to certain temporal properties of music events (i.e., of individual tones, brief tonal patterns, or global music sequences). These initial biases, in turn, determine the listeners' tendencies to abstract and use various kinds of music information to generate expectancies. The paper is divided into two parts. Part I considers theory and evidence related to operations of abstraction over various levels of a pattern's time structure. Part II considers generation as well as the refining of initial expectancies and the growth of expectancy schemes with experience.

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