Dissertation Information for Martha E. Crosby
- Martha E. Crosby
- (Alias) Martha Crosby
- (Alias) Martha Elizabeth Crosby
- Educational Psychology
- University of Hawaii (USA) (1986)
MPACT Status: Incomplete - Inspected
Title: NATURAL VERSUS COMPUTER LANGUAGES: A READING COMPARISON
Abstract: "This study investigated how non-expert computer programmers read and remembered computer programs. Two experiments were conducted. The first experiment questioned whether or not the subject's knowledge of the program's gist interacted with the program text to influence recall. The second experiment compared the subject's ability to comprehend and remember both standard English and Pascal versions of the same algorithm.
Results from experiment one suggested that knowledge of the program's gist facilitated program recall. However, if the subjects were not aware of the program's gist, features of the program text influenced recall. When the program's gist was unknown, the least terse programs (those with the low propositional density) and least transparent programs (those with the implicit algorithms) were recalled more successfully.
Experiment two investigated comprehension of programs written in a natural programming language (English) and a computer programming language (Pascal). Variables which were shown to interact with language type to influence program comprehension were the depth of the program's hierarchy, the subject's knowledge of the program's purpose, training, and the subject's language ability and programming experience. As long as the depth of the program hierarchy was two or less, comprehension was better for programs written in English. However, if the depth of program hierarchy exceeded two, comprehension was facilitated for programs written in Pascal. The subjects were able to use the computer language to help them understand the specifics of an unfamiliar program. However, they could only use the natural language to help them understand the specifics of a familiar program.
Use of English as a programming language for non-expert programmers was not optimal for some types of problems and some categories of programmers. The precise definitions, relatively simple grammar, and lack of ambiguities of a computer language compared to a natural programming language may account for their advantages in these situations."
MPACT Scores for Martha E. Crosby
A = 2
C = 6
A+C = 8
T = 2
G = 1
W = 2
TD = 2
TA = 0
calculated 2008-01-31 06:31:13
Advisors and Advisees Graph