Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

The effects of auditory metronomic rates on addition performance of second-graders in Lindsay, California

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  • The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of various auditory metronomic rates on addition performance of selected second-graders in Lindsay, California, and thereby test the theory that when such rates "approach and reach personal tempo the individual enjoys an optimal circumstance for learning" (Barsch, 1974, p. 5). Sixty second-grade students were placed in six groups (ten in each group) based on sex and performance on the mathematics section of the Primary I Metropolitan Achievement Test (High-, Medium-, and Low mathematics levels). Each subject was then individually tested on eight, one-minute, equivalent Addition Computation Tests under different auditory environments (metronome beating at 40 beats per minute (b/m), 80 b/m, 120 b/m, 160 b/m, a self-selected Individual Rate, White Noise, and Reduced Auditory Environment). The Classroom Noise condition was produced from a cassette recorder, while all other conditions reached subjects via headsets. Each completed test was given four different scores: 1)total number of addition responses, 2) number of correct addition responses, 3) number of incorrect addition responses, and 4) adjusted correct addition response score (20 glut twice the number of correct responses minus the number of incorrect responses). For each of the four sets of data, a three-way analysis of variance and F values were computed. An analysis of the data revealed no significant differences (other than those which were a product of the design) for any of the four sets of data, under each of the three null hypotheses: HO₁: There are no significant mean score differences between groups. HO₂: There are no significant mean score differences between auditory stimuli conditions. HO₃: There is no significant interaction between group levels and auditory stimuli conditions. The conclusion that an "optimal circumstance for learning" (Barsch, 1974, p. 5) was not provided is supported by the analysis of variance which reveals that the metronomic rates presented to subjects did not in any predictable fashion affect addition performance. Subjects were able to screen-out their immediate auditory environments and perform the task at hand. It is possible that this screening-out process may have been aided by increased visual and tactile stimulation (looking around the room, at the experimenter, up and down the study carrel, and using their fingers as counters--touching them to their chins, cheeks, chests, and arms). It is also possible that the exposure times (30 seconds prior to testing and 60 seconds during testing) for each auditory stimuli condition may not have been long enough to affect performance. None of the experimental conditions proved to significantly affect group performance; however, large standard deviations in the scores obtained by groups (small standard deviations would be expected because of the high correlations between the Addition Computation Tests and the attempt which was made to place subjects into somewhat homogenous mathematics performance levels), under each of the auditory stimuli conditions, suggest that individual differences may be hidden by groupings, or that other groupings might reveal significance.
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