Theses and Dissertations



Moss, Jarrod

Committee Member

Jarosz, Andrew F.

Committee Member

Pratte, Michael S.

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

Visible MSU only 2 years

Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Campus Access Only



Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Psychology


Salient features of a task play an important role in how people create task representations which then influence strategy selection for accomplishing the task. We examined two theories, Represent-Construct-Choose-Learn and Rational Metareasoning, both of which incorporate task features into their models of strategy selection but differ in feature set modification. We used the Building Sticks Task (BST) in which it has been shown that people are sensitive to a salient feature in the BST to test the predictions of both theories. The results showed that neither theory aligned closely with empirical data. Additionally, we investigated participants’ strategy preferences in BST and explored the potential influence of recent strategy use. Our findings revealed a preference for the undershoot strategy and a recency effect favoring the overshoot strategy. These findings highlight the complex nature of strategy selection and emphasize the significance of considering how task features, strategy preferences, and recency effects interact.