Student nonverbal behavior and frustration in individual test conditions Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/79408245d

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  • The goal of the study was to investigate the relationship between nonverbal behaviors and frustration. As a part of the study an instrument for the observation of nonverbal behaviors related to frustration was developed. The specific hypotheses investigated in this study were the following: Hypothesis One - A valid and reliable instrument can be constructed for the systematic observation of student nonverbal behaviors related to frustration. Hypothesis Two - There is a significant difference in the nonverbal behavior of students performing frustrating and nonfrustrating tasks. Hypothesis Three - There is a clustering of nonverbal behaviors elicited in response to frustrating tasks; this clustering represents different student response modes to the frustrational stimulus. In the pilot phase of the study, videotapes of students performing frustrating and nonfrustrating tasks were viewed and analyzed to identify nonverbal behaviors possibly related to frustration. The literature was reviewed to identify other behaviors that might be induced by frustration. The two major outcomes of the pilot phase were (1) the selection of the tasks used to induce frustration and (2) an observational instrument that included a listing and definition of 24 behaviors to be viewed and tabulated, a record sheet, and instructions for the use of the instrument. In the main study, a sample of 38 eighth grade students was videotaped during the administration of two individualized tests, the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT) and the mathematics subtest of the Peabody Individual Achievement Test (PIAT). Later, the behavior of each student was viewed and recorded using the observational instrument. Data were taken for two samples of behavior in each test, one sample for each test under non-frustrating conditions and one under frustrating conditions. The determination of whether the testing was frustrating or non-frustrating was made on the basis of the amount of success or failure in the student's responses. Non-frustrating conditions were seen at the start of the testing where students responses were usually all correct. Frustrating conditions were seen at the end of the testing where student responses were usually less than 20 percent correct. The results of the study demonstrated that a valid and reliable instrument for the observation of student nonverbal behaviors can be constructed. Interobserver agreement was measured as the reliability of the instrument and found to be 0.88 overall. Also the instrument was sufficiently sensitive to detect the changes in nonverbal behavior that were hypothesized in hypothesis two. The study did show that there was significant change in student nonverbal behavior from the non-frustrating to the frustrating portions of both tests. Further, there were strong parallels between the behavior changes seen in the two tests. The strongest behavior changes for both tests included longer times to answer questions, raising and lowering of the eyebrows, mouth twitching, mouth opening, and subvocalization. The data from this study did not conclusively demonstrate the hypothesized clustering. Although some clustering was seen in some of the frustrational behavior data, there was a lack of consistency in the clustering, and the sample size was considered marginal. Overall, the data did not clearly demonstrate the hypothesized modes of frustrational behavior.
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