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The effects of variations in task, practice conditions and mental age on the learning of subnormal and average subjects

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Item Summary

Title: The effects of variations in task, practice conditions and mental age on the learning of subnormal and average subjects
Authors: Mordock, John Bayley
Keywords: Learning, Psychology of
Issue Date: 1967
Publisher: [Honolulu]
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to determine if subnormal Ss would perform better under distributed than under massed practice compared to average Ss performing under the same conditions. Subnormal Ss were defined as those individuals who scored between 60 and 80 on measures of intelligence while the average Ss were those who scored between 95 and 105 on measures of intelligence. Two tasks were used, one primarily verbal (paired associate task) and the other involving perceptual motor abilities (six choice point finger maze). The two tasks were employed to determine if the effects of the practice conditions could be generalized across different types of tasks. One hundred and twenty Ss were run in the principal investigation, 60 with IQ's below 80, and 60 with IQ's between 95-105. These Ss were broken down into three age levels within each intelligence classification; 14-15, 10-11 and 7-8 years of age. The subnormal Ss were all matched with average Ss on both mental and chronological age, with the exception of the 7-8 group which was matched only on CA. The paired-associates task was presented to each S for 28 trials while the maze was presented for 20. Ss under the distributed practice condition discriminated musical notes during the 30 second interval between trials. On the paired associates task the results indicated that 5s made fewer errors under the distributed practice condition but that the differences in error between the two practice conditions did not differ for intelligence levels. Average Ss performed significantly better on this task than subnormal Ss but only at the two older age levels. However, a significantly greater proportion of average than of subnormal Ss stated that they rehearsed during the intertrial interval. For this reason, 30 additional Ss were run using color naming as an inter-trial activity. These 30 Ss were matched with the Ss in those groups who had shown the greatest benefits from distributed practice. These were the 14-15 subnormal, 14-15 average, and 10-11 average groups. After running the new distributed groups the difference between the massed and distributed practice condition disappeared in the two average groups, while in the subnormal group it still remained. On the maze task each older group tended to perform better than the groups which were younger, but no differences between the subnormal and average groups occurred. The results were discussed in terms of existing findings. It was concluded that, other than providing an opportunity to rehearse on the P-A task, the benefits from distributed practice were slight. Therefore, previous theories which predict that differences will occur between massed and distributed practice conditions were not supported by the results of this investigation.
Description: Typescript.
Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Hawaii, 1967.
Bibliography: leaves [100]-105.
vii, 105 l tables
Rights: All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections:Ph.D. - Psychology

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