|Abstract or Summary
- 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