Comparing the performance between high school students with esteem needs and those with security needs in solving a problem through insight in a verbal learning situation Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/h128nh13b

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  • The purpose of this study was to compare the performance between high school students with esteem needs and those with security needs in discovering a two-second delay between correct response and feedback in a paired-associated learning task, Subjects had to determine which one of seven possible responses (digits) to a stimulus (consonant) was correct and then associate that correct response with its appropriate stimulus. The two-second delay confused them about which one of their responses was correct for each stimulus, since the delay caused feedback to coincide with the response following the correct one. Subjects had to discover the two second delay before they could identify the correct responses and associate them with their appropriate stimuli. Associating one item with another, e.g., π with 3.1416, is important for students. Even a cursory look at school tests reveals the emphasis schools place on memorizing verbal associations. The importance of this elementary form of learning lies primarily in its being basic to the more complex forms. Because of this importance, teachers should be aware of the characteristics of students that both help and hinder them in memorizing verbal associations. It is possible, for example, that whether students have a need for esteem or security may be related to their performance in discovering relationships among items within a verbal learning task. Knowing these relationships possibly could help them to memorize the items. It was predicted in this study that subjects with esteem needs would discover the two-second delay sooner than subjects with security needs and therefore perform better at memorizing the stimulus-response pairs in the experiment. Three variables in student ability to discover the two-second delay were examined. These were (a) esteem versus security needs, (b) type I versus type II information, and (c) practice over trials. Esteem and security needs were differentiated by using Simpson's Index of Psychological Deprivation (IPD), which is based on Maslow's classification of needs. The two types of information were provided through two different methods of feedback. Feedback was either a light coming on (type I), or a presentation of the stimulus-response pair (type II). There were four combinations of need type and information type. Nine subjects were placed in each group and were given 18 trials to learn six stimulus-response pairs. The effects of the three variables and their interactions were analyzed with a three-factor mixed analysis of variance design for repeated measures on one factor. Significance was set at the 0.05 level. The analysis indicated that (a) the type of information given to subjects affected their overall performance level, (b) subjects learned as a function of practice over trials, and (c) the rate of learning for subjects was dependent upon the type of information given to them. There was no significant effect of type of need on performance, either alone or in combination with the other two variables. It was found that type of need, as measured by the IPD, is a characteristic of high school students which neither helps, nor hinders their performance in discovering relationships which could aid them in memorizing verbal associations. This finding, however, only pertains to students from similar cultures. Therefore, teachers should not have to concern themselves with the esteem and security needs of students when teaching them skills for discovering relationships in verbal learning tasks, as long as the students are of the same race and represent similar socioeconomic levels and national heritages.
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