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An investigation of children’s arousal levels as they read graded materials Bryant, Harriet Willis 1976

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AN INVESTIGATION OF CHILDREN'S AROUSAL LEVELS AS THEY READ GRADED MATERIALS by HARRIET WILLIS BRYANT B.Ed. (Elem.), University of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1971 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n THE DEPARTMENT OF READING EDUCATION We accept t h i s thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA August, 1976 . (c)Ha r r i e t W i l l i s Bryant, 1976 In presenting th i s thes i s in pa r t i a l fu l f i lment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the Univers i ty of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the L ibrary shal l make it f ree ly ava i l ab le for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of th is thesis for scho lar ly purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by his representat ives. It is understood that copying or pub l i ca t ion of this thes is fo r f inanc ia l gain sha l l not be allowed without my writ ten permission. Depa rtment The Univers i ty of B r i t i s h Columbia 2075 Wesbrook Place Vancouver, Canada V6T 1W5 Date Qcrr I hL i i ABSTRACT The major purpose of t h i s study was to attempt to determine word recognition and comprehension c r i t e r i a f o r the f r u s t r a t i o n a l l e v e l of reading by means of the galvanic skin response (GSR), i n order to sub- s t a n t i a t e the conventional c r i t e r i a used by a u t h o r i t i e s i n the f i e l d . The sample consisted of 60 c h i l d r e n i n grades two and three, for whom parental consent for i n c l u s i o n i n the study had been obtained. Scores from a standardized reading achievement test were used to s t r a t i f y a l l second and t h i r d grade c h i l d r e n on reading achievement l e v e l (below, average, and above average). Ten c h i l d r e n f or each grade and reading achievement l e v e l were then randomly selected (N=60). Subjects were required to read the words on the Wide Range Achievement Test-Level 1 (1965) while being monitored on the GSR i n order to obtain an index of each c h i l d ' s high arousal l e v e l . This l e v e l was then to have been used to ind i c a t e the f r u s t r a t i o n a l l e v e l of reading as the c h i l d read the passages of the Diagnostic Reading Scales (1972), that was treated as an informal reading inventory. At t h i s l e v e l , word recog- n i t i o n and comprehension accuracy scores were to have been obtained, and these compared to the e x i s t i n g c r i t e r i a . However, during the reading of the Diagnostic Reading Scales passages no subject.attained the arousal l e v e l obtained on the Wide Range Achievement Test, and therefore f r u s t r a - t i o n a l l e v e l of reading had to be determined from the c r i t e r i a stated i n Johnson and Kress (1965). As a r e s u l t , a lternate hypotheses were postu- l a t e d . GSR arousal l e v e l s were obtained for the i n s t r u c t i o n a l and pre- i i i f r u s t r a t i o n a l l e v e l s of reading, for both the o r a l reading and comprehen- sion sections of the t e s t , and these s t a t i s t i c a l l y compared. At the f r u s t r a t i o n a l l e v e l of reading, comparisons were made between the o r a l reading and comprehension sections of the t e s t , the three reading achieve- ment groups, and for the boys and the g i r l s . Data were analyzed using a two-way analysis of variance for a repeated measures design. It was found that there was no s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e between the o r a l reading of the passage and the comprehension section at both the i n s t r u c t i o n a l and f r u s t r a t i o n a l l e v e l s of reading. The three reading achievement l e v e l s did not d i f f e r s i g n i f i c a n t l y i n arousal at the f r u s - t r a t i o n a l l e v e l of reading. Implications of the r e s u l t s were discussed. i v TABLE OF CONTENTS Chapter I. STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM 1 Introduction 1 The Purpose 3 Limitations of the Study 4 Operational D e f i n i t i o n s 5 Procedures of the Study 9 Selection of the Subjects 9 Testing 9 Treatment of the Data 10 I I . REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE . 14 Introduction 14 Description of the IRI 15 H i s t o r i c a l Development of the IRI 16 Controversies Related to the C r i t e r i a f o r the IRI . . . 22 R e l i a b i l i t y and V a l i d i t y of the IRI 25 Research Related to the Scoring of the IRI 27 Ph y s i o l o g i c a l Support for the Reading Levels of the IRI 29 THE GALVANIC SKIN RESPONSE 32 Introduction 32 Terminology 33 Early History 33 Mechanics 33 Research Issues • 35 Electrodermal Research i n Education 36 The IRI and Anxiety 40 I I I . METHOD 43 Selection of the Subjects 43 Materials 44 Apparatus 44 Measuring Equipment: GSR Recording 45 Procedure 45 Treatment of the Data 46 IV. RESULTS OF THE STUDY 48 Introduction 48 CHAPTER V. SUMMARIES, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS . 54 Summary of Methods 54 Summary of Findings and Conclusions 57 Implications 58 Recommendations f or Further Study . 61 BIBLIOGRAPHY 62 APPENDIX 68 \ v i LIST OF TABLES TABLE I. C r i t e r i a for Determining the Levels of an IRI 7 I I . C l a s s i f i c a t i o n of Reading Achievement Groups According to Grade Level 8 I I I . Selection of the Subjects 9 IV. Comparison of C r i t e r i a f o r the I n s t r u c t i o n a l Level of the IRI 26 V. Analysis of Variance: Comparison of Arousal Levels at the I n s t r u c t i o n a l Level of Reading 50 VI. Analysis of Variance: Comparisons of Arousal Levels at the F r u s t r a t i o n a l Level of Reading 51 v i i ACKNOWLEDGEMENT S An expression of sincere appreciation i s extended to those who made possible the completion of t h i s t h e s i s . In p a r t i c u l a r , Dr. K. Slade, without whose constant encouragement, advice and generous giving of time, t h i s thesis could not have been completed. To the other committee members, Dr. R. Bennet, Dr. C. Pennock, and Dr. T. Westermark, whose time and advice were greatly appreciated. To the many people who helped throughout the running of t h i s study. Special thanks to graduate students Campbell Clarke, for sharing h i s time and knowledge, and Jack Tarasoff, who was always there whenever needed. To the boys and g i r l s and s t a f f members of the schools who took part i n the i n v e s t i g a t i o n f or t h e i r cooperation i n the compilation of the data. And to my family, for t h e i r understanding, encouragement, and unending support, the writer i s most g r a t e f u l . CHAPTER I STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM This study sought to investigate the galvanic skin response arousal l e v e l s of c h i l d r e n i n grades two and three reading at the mid-Grade 1 and above l e v e l s , as they read through the graded passages of the Diagnostic Reading Scales (Spache, 1972) that was treated as an informal reading inventory. The major purpose of t h i s study was to determine word recog- n i t i o n and comprehension c r i t e r i a for the f r u s t r a t i o n a l l e v e l of reading by means of the galvanic skin response i n order to substantiate the conventional c r i t e r i a used by a u t h o r i t i e s i n the f i e l d of reading. Introduction L i t e r a c y i s of prime importance i n North American culture, and i s r e f l e c t e d i n our schools emphasis on reading education. Educators agree that maximum learning i s f a c i l i t a t e d when a c h i l d receives i n s t r u c t i o n at hi s own l e v e l of competence. This concept i s r e f l e c t e d i n the theory of developmental reading which stresses that each c h i l d receives i n s t r u c t i o n i n reading s k i l l s at h i s own l e v e l of performance. Teachers of reading are therefore faced with the problem of determining each c h i l d ' s best l e v e l f o r i n s t r u c t i o n . To determine a c h i l d ' s best l e v e l for. i n s t r u c t i o n i n reading, Gray (1920) promoted the idea of informal reading achievement t e s t s , as opposed to standardized reading achievement t e s t s . K i l l g a l l o n (1942) and Betts 1 2 were the f i r s t to apply performance c r i t e r i a to t e s t i n g with the informal reading inventory (IRI). Today IRI's are widely used, but are fraught with many problems i n administrative procedures, scoring methods, and c r i t e r i a for determining the three performance l e v e l s ; independent, where the c h i l d can read e f f e c t i v e l y without assistance; i n s t r u c t i o n a l , where the c h i l d i s able to progress with systematic i n s t r u c t i o n ; and f r u s t r a - t i o n a l , where the c h i l d becomes unable to read the materials (Utsey, Wallen, and Beldin, 1965). The major thrust of research with the IRI has been concerned with the c r i t e r i a f o r determining a c h i l d ' s i n s t r u c t i o n a l l e v e l i n reading. The i n i t i a l performance c r i t e r i a for accuracy i n word recognition and com- prehension determined by K i l l g a l l o n (1942) has generally been adhered to by l a t e r authors, although these c r i t e r i a lack a strong empirical base. Recent research by Cooper (1952), Powell (1968), and Dunkeld (1970) suggests the need f o r d i f f e r e n t c r i t e r i a for es t a b l i s h i n g the reading l e v e l s of primary c h i l d r e n as opposed to intermediate c h i l d r e n . They also suggest les s stringent performance c r i t e r i a for these l e v e l s than was o r i g i n a l l y suggested by K i l l g a l l o n . Powell (1968) has offered empirical data to support h i s c r i t e r i a of 85 percent accuracy i n word recognition and 70 percent accuracy i n comprehension f o r the i n s t r u c t i o n a l l e v e l i n primary grades, and 91 percent to 94 percent accuracy i n word recognition and 70 percent accuracy i n comprehension for the intermediate grades. Powell states that most reported c r i t e r i a for an IRI are based on the intermedi- ate grades, and that these are not appropriate for primary grade c h i l d r e n . The f r u s t r a t i o n l e v e l i n reading, that l e v e l where the c h i l d i s unable to handle the reading material, has l a r g e l y been ignored i n research. The c r i t e r i a f o r t h i s l e v e l , l i k e those f o r the i n s t r u c t i o n a l 3 l e v e l , have seldom been empirically tested or v a l i d a t e d , but rather, accepted as accurately defined by Betts and K i l l g a l l o n . Ekwall and English (1971) attempted to v a l i d a t e the f r u s t r a t i o n a l reading l e v e l c r i t e r i a of ninety percent accuracy i n word recognition and f i f t y percent accuracy i n comprehension using the galvanic skin response as a measure of f r u s t r a t i o n or arousal. Their major f i n d i n g was that for c h i l d r e n i n grades three to f i v e the ninety percent word recognition c r i t e r i o n was v a l i d i f each r e p e t i t i o n of a word was counted an as error, and they recommended that, u n t i l further research could more s p e c i f i c a l l y determine a comprehension c r i t e r i o n , "the 50 percent correct c r i t e r i a i s adequate for comprehension" (p. 42). The youngest c h i l d r e n sampled i n Ekwall and English's study were i n grade three. I t i s suggested that had they used younger c h i l d r e n they might have found s i m i l a r trends to the studies i n v e s t i g a t i n g the i n s t r u c - t i o n a l l e v e l c r i t e r i a , namely, that lower word recognition and comprehen- sion scores were more appropriate for c h i l d r e n at the grades one and two l e v e l s . The r e s u l t s of the galvanic skin response for c h i l d r e n of t h i s age l e v e l may have indicated higher arousal l e v e l s before reaching the 90 percent accuracy c r i t e r i o n for word recognition and 50 percent accuracy c r i t e r i o n f or comprehension. The Purpose The major purpose of t h i s study, which was d e s c r i p t i v e i n nature, was: 1. To determine the word recognition and comprehension c r i t e r i a for the f r u s t r a t i o n a l reading l e v e l as determined by the galvanic skin % response (GSR). 4 Secondary purposes of t h i s study were: 2. To compare the c r i t e r i a for the f r u s t r a t i o n a l reading l e v e l as established by Betts and K i l l g a l l o n (1942) to the f r u s t r a t i o n a l reading l e v e l as determined by the GSR. 3. To compare both word recognition and comprehension arousal l e v e l s , as measured by the GSR at the i n s t r u c t i o n a l , pre-frustrational., and f r u s - t r a t i o n a l reading l e v e l s of an informal reading inventory. 4. To compare the GSR measured f r u s t r a t i o n a l reading l e v e l s and the percentages of word recognition and comprehension accuracy at three l e v e l s of reading achievement: below, average, and above average. 5. To compare the mean GSR arousal l e v e l of boys and g i r l s at the f r u s t r a t i o n a l l e v e l of reading. Limitations of the Study This study was l i m i t e d by a number of f a c t o r s . F i r s t l y , the sample consisted of 60 ch i l d r e n i n Grades 2 and 3, from two elementary schools, for whom parental consent for i n c l u s i o n i n t h i s study was obtained. Secondly, t h i s study dealt with only the c r i t e r i a for the f r u s t r a t i o n a l reading l e v e l . T h i r d l y , the reading instrument used, the Diagnostic Reading Scales (Spache, 1963, 1972), i s not an informal reading inventory, but a r e l i a b l e and highly respected standardized t e s t , which was scored as an IRI. L a s t l y , only o r a l reading of the passages was used i n t h i s study, since ch i l d r e n at t h i s age were f e l t to have not i n t e r n a l i z e d the reading process to a point where s i l e n t reading i s a practised and f a c i l e s k i l l . 5 Operational Definitions For the purpose of this study, the following terms were defined as follows: 1. Informal Reading Inventory: (IRI): An IRI is an individual test consisting of a series of graded passages usually prepared from each level of a basal reader which is being used as the main vehicle for reading instruction in the school, and to which the child has not had prior exposure in his reading program. The child reads orally and/or silently from these passages and a check of comprehension follows. Based on specific c r i t e r i a for word recognition and comprehension accuracy, three c r i t i c a l levels are determined; independent, instructional, and frustra- tional. 2. Independent Level: At this level the child can read the material without help. His reading is free from observable signs of d i f f i c u l t y . It is at this level that the child reads for recreation (Johnson and Kress, 1965). 3. Instructional Level: At this level the reading materials are chal- lenging for the child, but not so d i f f i c u l t that the child cannot read i t without teacher supervision. Signs of d i f f i c u l t y such as head movements, finger pointing, and vocalizations are not present (Johnson and Kress, 1965). 4. Pre-frustrational Level: The term pre-frustrational level i s used to designate the reading passage which is between the instructional level, and directly preceding the frustrational level. 5. Frustrational Level: At this level the child becomes completely unable to cope with the reading materials. The child shows signs of tension and discomfort such as finger pointing and vocalizations (Ekwall 6 and English, 1971). 6. Word Recognition Errors: The following types of errors were c l a s s i - f i e d as word recognition errors: a. Substitutions: Any whole word stated which d i f f e r s from the given word i n the text. b. Insertions: Any word or groups of words inserted which did not appear at that point i n the printed material from which the c h i l d read (McRae, 1974). Example: "The k i t t e n played," i s read, "The l i t t l e k i t t e n played." c. Omissions: Whole words or groups of words l e f t out are counted as omissions errors (Spache, 1963). Example: "The l i t t l e k i t t e n played," i s read, "The k i t t e n played." d. Words Aided: Words which, when encountered by the c h i l d , he refuses to read, or i s unable to s u c c e s s f u l l y decode, and which are t o l d to him a f t e r a f i v e second i n t e r v a l (Spache, 1963). e. Repetitions: Reading a u t h o r i t i e s concerned with the scoring of an IRI disagree concerning the number of words which constitute a r e p e t i - t i o n error, and as to whether r e p e t i t i o n errors should be included as scorable errors on an IRI. Johnson and Kress (1965) f e e l that the r e p e t i t i o n of each word should be counted as an error. Spache (1963), on the other hand, considered only r e p e t i t i o n s of two words or more as scorable r e p e t i t i o n errors. For the purpose of t h i s study, the following d e f i n i t i o n of a repe- t i t i o n was adopted, that i s , a r e p e t i t i o n was scored when the c h i l d repeated one or more words. Each word(s) repeated a d i f f e r e n t number of times than other words was considered an a d d i t i o n a l error (Ekwall and English, 1971). For example, i n sentence one below there are three 7 errors, but in sentence two there is only one error. 1. The l i t t l e kitten played. 2. The l i t t l e kitten played. 7. Comprehension: Reading comprehension is determined by asking the child a number of questions based on the subject matter in the passage he has just read. The score is expressed as a percentage of correct answers. 8. Criteria for the IRI: The c r i t e r i a for determining the three reading levels of an IRI are expressed in percentages for both word recognition accuracy and comprehension accuracy for each level. Table I shows the various c r i t e r i a for determining the reading levels of an IRI. TABLE I CRITERIA FOR DETERMINING THE LEVELS OF AN IRI Reading Word Level Recognition Comprehension Independent 99% 90% Instructional 95% 75% Frustrational 90% 50% (Johnson and Kress, 1965) 9. Classification of Reading Achievement Levels: Table II specifies the reading achievement levels for above average readers, average readers, and below average readers used in this study. The c r i t e r i a are after Bond and Tinker (1967). 8 TABLE II CLASSIFICATION OF READING ACHIEVEMENT GROUPS ACCORDING TO GRADE LEVEL Below Average Average Above Average Grade 2 below 2.3 2.4 to 2.7 above 2.8 Grade 3 below 3.2 3.3 to 3.8 above 3.9 10. Galvanic Skin Response Terminology: The following d e f i n i t i o n s are based on Chaplin (1968) and Sternbach (1966). a. Galvanic Skin Response: (GSR): Galvanic skin response r e f e r s to changes i n the e l e c t r i c a l resistance of the skin and i s detected by a galvanometer. A response may be measured by passing a weak e l e c t r i c a l current through the skin and the resistance to t h i s current measured. I t i s best thought of as an index of a c t i v a t i o n and arousal (Sternbach, 1966). b. Arousal: This term r e f e r s to the l e v e l of autonomic alertness following sensory stimulation, which may lead to a heightened state of tension, anxiety, and a c t i v i t y l e v e l . . This i s the l e v e l when the subject i s responding to a s p e c i f i c stimulus, r e s u l t i n g i n a ski n resistance decrease (Chaplin, 1968). c. Baseline Level: This i s the l e v e l designated when the subject i s at rest or i n a relaxed state, and i s considered a global function of mental, emotional, and environmental set (Sternbach, 1966). d. C r i t e r i o n Arousal Level: CAL: The c r i t e r i o n arousal l e v e l was determined by having each subject read through the Wide Range Achievement Test-Level 1 (1965) u n t i l the GSR had plateaued and habituation began to occur. I t was measured i n centimeters from the baseline l e v e l to the maximum l e v e l of d e f l e c t i o n . 9 Procedures of the Study Selection of the Subjects: The Stanford Achievement Test (1972) was administered to i n t a c t classrooms of second and t h i r d grade c h i l d r e n i n the schools a l l o t t e d by the Vancouver School Board. Level II of the test was administered to the second grade population and Level III to the t h i r d grade population. From the r e s u l t s of t h i s t e s t the c h i l d r e n were s t r a t i f i e d on achievement l e v e l s according to Table II (p. 8). Parental consent forms (see Appendix) were sent home with each c h i l d . From the sele c t population of c h i l d r e n whose fa m i l i e s consented to the study involving t h e i r c h i l d r e n , t h i r t y c h i l d r e n were selected from each grade, ten c h i l d r e n i n each of the reading achievement l e v e l s using a table of random numbers (Glass and Stanley, 1970)., as i s shown i n Table I I I . TABLE I I I SELECTION OF THE SUBJECTS Reading Achievement Levels Below Above Average Average Average T o t a l Grade 2 10 10 10 30 Grade 3 10 10 10 30 Tot a l 20 , 20 20 60 Procedures were tested on seven ch i l d r e n i n order to develop t e s t i n g tech- niques and scoring procedures. " A polygraph expert examined the galvanic skin response p r o f i l e s for s e n s i t i v i t y and accuracy of recording. These records showed a good response pattern. Testing: Each subject was escorted to the t e s t i n g room where the 10 electrodes were attached to the index and r i n g fingers of h i s non-preferred hand. After an attempt to e s t a b l i s h rapport was undertaken, the subject was given the Wide Range Achievement Test-Level 1 (1965) (WRAT) and asked to read the words. The c h i l d read u n t i l a plateau had been reached on the galvanic skin response (GSR) and habituation had begun. Each subject's reaction was measured on the GSR print-out as the maximum d e f l e c t i o n i n centimeters from the baseline l e v e l , and t h i s used as the subject's c r i t e r - ion arousal l e v e l (CAL). In addition, each subject was asked to blow up a balloon ' u n t i l i t bursts'. This t e s t i n g s i t u a t i o n was terminated f o r each c h i l d before the balloon burst. The measure obtained served as an index of the maximum arousal l e v e l i n a non-verbal s i t u a t i o n . In a l l cases t h i s measure provided a greater arousal l e v e l than did the Wide Range Achievement Test. This enabled the experimenter to compare how close the c r i t e r i o n arousal l e v e l was to the higher non-verbal arousal l e v e l . A f t e r the subject had again relaxed, he was given the f i r s t passage of the Diagnostic Reading Scales (1972) to read o r a l l y . Upon completion, the booklet was removed and the comprehension questions asked. The next highest l e v e l was then administered and the same procedure followed u n t i l the GSR indicated that the subject's CAL had been reached. However, i n the data gathering s i t u a t i o n none of the subjects attained t h e i r c r i t e r i o n arousal l e v e l during the reading of the passages, regardless of passage d i f f i c u l t y , as had ch i l d r e n during the t e s t i n g of the procedures. Because of t h i s , f r u s t r a t i o n a l l e v e l i n reading had to be determined by the c r i t e r i a set f o r t h i n Johnson and Kress (1965). Treatment of the Data: The passage where the GSR indicated the sub- j e c t ' s CAL had been reached was to have been scored for word recognition 11 and comprehension accuracy. An average word recognition and comprehension score was to have been computed using the t o t a l sample and these scores s t a t i s t i c a l l y compared to the c r i t e r i a as set f o r t h i n Johnson and Kress (1965). This treatment of the data could not be completed since the f r u s t r a t i o n a l l e v e l of reading had to be determined using the c r i t e r i a stated i n Johnson and Kress rather than from the c r i t e r i o n arousal l e v e l . In order to analyze the data, an index of arousal f o r the IRI passages at the f r u s t r a t i o n a l , p r e - f r u s t r a t i o n a l , and i n s t r u c t i o n a l l e v e l s was determined f o r both the o r a l reading and the comprehension sections, and a mean arousal l e v e l computed f o r each subject at the f r u s t r a t i o n a l l e v e l of reading. This was obtained by measuring the maximum point of d e f l e c t i o n from the baseline l e v e l i n centimeters. An average l e v e l of arousal was computed f o r the t o t a l sample and used i n the comparisons of arousal l e v e l s between the i n s t r u c t i o n a l and p r e - f r u s t r a t i o n a l l e v e l s . S t a t i s t i c a l analyses were conducted using a two-way analysis of variance f o r a repeated measures design using ANOV:23 (1969). The follow- ing n u l l hypotheses were o r i g i n a l l y postulated. Hypothesis 1 At the f r u s t r a t i o n a l l e v e l of reading as determined by the subject's CAL there w i l l be no s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e between the GSR measured arousal l e v e l and the l e v e l on the GSR where the 90 percent word recognition c r i t e r i o n on the IRI was applied. Hypothesis 2 At the f r u s t r a t i o n a l l e v e l of reading as determined by the subject's CAL there w i l l be no s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e between the GSR measured arousal l e v e l and the l e v e l on the GSR where the 50 percent comprehen- sion c r i t e r i o n on the IRI was applied. Hypothesis 3 At the i n s t r u c t i o n a l l e v e l of reading as determined by the adminis- t r a t i o n of an IRI there w i l l be no s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e between the 12 GSR measured arousal l e v e l found during the o r a l reading and that found during the comprehension section of the t e s t . Hypothesis 4 At the p r e - f r u s t r a t i o n a l l e v e l of reading there w i l l be no s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e between the GSR measured arousal l e v e l found during the o r a l reading and that found during the comprehension section of the t e s t . Hypothesis 5 At the f r u s t r a t i o n a l l e v e l of reading as determined by the subject's c r i t e r i o n arousal l e v e l (CAL) there w i l l be no s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r - ence between the galvanic skin (GSR) measured arousal l e v e l found during the o r a l reading and that found during the comprehension section of the t e s t . Hypothesis 6 At the f r u s t r a t i o n a l l e v e l of reading as determined by the subject's CAL there w i l l be no s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e between the GSR measured arousal l e v e l of c h i l d r e n reading above average compared to c h i l d r e n reading at grade l e v e l . Hypothesis 7 At the f r u s t r a t i o n a l l e v e l of reading as determined by the subject's CAL there w i l l be no s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e between the GSR measured arousal l e v e l of c h i l d r e n reading above average compared to c h i l d r e n reading below average. Hypothesis 8 At the f r u s t r a t i o n a l l e v e l of reading as determined by the subject's CAL there w i l l be no s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e between the GSR measured arousal l e v e l of c h i l d r e n reading at grade l e v e l compared to c h i l d r e n reading below average. Hypothesis 9 At the f r u s t r a t i o n a l l e v e l of reading as determined by the subject's CAL there w i l l be no s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e between the boys and the g i r l s . Because of the f a i l u r e of the sample to obtain uniformly a c r i t e r - ion arousal l e v e l at the f r u s t r a t i o n a l l e v e l of reading, i t became neces- sary to determine the f r u s t r a t i o n a l l e v e l of reading by the c r i t e r i a set f o r t h i n Johnson and Kress (1965) and the following alternate hypotheses 13 were generated on a post hoc basis. Hypothesis 1 At the f r u s t r a t i o n a l l e v e l of reading as determined by the admin- i s t r a t i o n of an IRI there w i l l be no s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e between the GSR measured arousal l e v e l found during the o r a l reading and that found during the comprehension section of the t e s t . Hypothesis 2 At the f r u s t r a t i o n a l l e v e l of reading as determined by the admin- i s t r a t i o n of an IRI there w i l l be no s i g n i f i c a n t difference between the GSR measured arousal l e v e l of c h i l d r e n reading above average compared to c h i l d r e n reading at grade l e v e l . Hypothesis 3 At the f r u s t r a t i o n a l l e v e l of reading as determined by the admin- i s t r a t i o n of an IRI there w i l l be no s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e between the GSR measured arousal l e v e l of c h i l d r e n reading above average compared to c h i l d r e n reading below average. Hypothesis 4 At the f r u s t r a t i o n a l l e v e l of reading as determined by the admin- i s t r a t i o n of an IRI there w i l l be no s i g n i f i c a n t difference between the GSR measured arousal l e v e l of chi l d r e n reading at grade l e v e l compared to c h i l d r e n reading below average. Hypothesis 5 At the f r u s t r a t i o n a l l e v e l of reading as determined by the admin- i s t r a t i o n of an IRI there w i l l be no s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e between the GSR measured arousal l e v e l of the boys and the g i r l s . CHAPTER II REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE Introduction In recent years, educators and pyschologists have given increasing attention to the emotional aspects of reading. Gates (1947) stated that there was sub s t a n t i a l evidence to support the conclusion that success i n reading depended to a considerable extent upon the kind of mental and emotional adjustment that the p u p i l made to the learning s i t u a t i o n . In order that the learning s i t u a t i o n be the le a s t s t r e s s f u l and most benefi- c i a l to the p u p i l , i t i s e s s e n t i a l that i n s t r u c t i o n , p a r t i c u l a r l y reading i n s t r u c t i o n , be based "upon the student's a b i l i t y to comprehend i t " (Fay, 1969, c i t e d i n MeRae, 1974, p. 4). For t h i s to happen i n s t r u c t i o n a l materials must be at the pupil's i n s t r u c t i o n a l l e v e l . Harris emphatically stated, "The most important question to answer about a c h i l d ' s reading i s , 'How d i f f i c u l t a book can t h i s c h i l d read?'" (1970, p. 139). One method a v a i l a b l e to the classroom teacher f o r determining the l e v e l of printed materials to use f o r the i n s t r u c t i o n of a p u p i l i s the informal reading inventory (IRI). The IRI i s generally agreed to be a valuable device i n determining the various f u n c t i o n a l reading l e v e l s of a p u p i l , as well as for diagnosis of reading d i f f i c u l t i e s . I t i s the purpose of t h i s review to define, trace the development of the IRI, and report research related to the IRI. The galvanic skin response i s also described. 14 15 Description of the IRI The informal reading inventory i s perhaps best described as a structured reading interview i n which a c h i l d reads, both o r a l l y and s i l e n t l y , s e l e c t i o n s of increasing d i f f i c u l t y . As the c h i l d reads, the examiner notes the c h i l d ' s pronunciation errors, compre- hension errors, and other behavior re l a t e d to h i s reading. After the informal reading inventory i s completed, the teacher compares the c h i l d ' s reading behavior with a set of c r i t e r i a which enables her to i d e n t i f y the c h i l d ' s functional reading levels—independent, i n s t r u c t i o n a l , and f r u s t r a t i o n (Utsey, Wallen, and Beldin, 1965, p. 1). This s u c c i n c t l y stated d e s c r i p t i o n includes the basic concepts of an IRI. The informal inventory i s i n d i v i d u a l l y administered to a c h i l d , and usually consists of graded passages that have been chosen from the text- books used i n the classroom. The examiner l i s t e n s to the c h i l d ' s o r a l reading of a passage, and records his word recognition errors. S i l e n t reading of the passage may.also be included. Comprehension i s appraised by asking the c h i l d a number of questions concerning the content of the passage he has ju s t read. The c h i l d ' s reading performance i s not "compared to what other students can do . . . given the same job", but i s evaluated " i n terms of absolute standards" (Johnson and Kress, 1972, pp. 185-186). There are a number of purposes a t t r i b u t e d to the IRI, as i d e n t i f i e d by Johnson and Kress. F i r s t l y , they see the IRI as a means of appraising achievement l e v e l s i n reading, i n order that the teacher be more able to adjust reading material to the i n s t r u c t i o n a l l e v e l of the c h i l d . Secondly, the IRI can be used d i a g n o s t i c a l l y . By knowing the c h i l d ' s areas of weaknesses, the teacher can teach the s p e c i f i c s k i l l s needed by the c h i l d i n order f o r him to become a more p r o f i c i e n t reader. L a s t l y , Johnson and Kress suggest that the IRI could be used repeatedly i n the evaluation of the c h i l d ' s progress, so the continued growth can be 16 measured (1965). Standardized reading tests are another way of determining reading l e v e l and diagnosing reading problems. These tests are often lengthy to administer, and often f a i l to diagnose reading i n a b i l i t y accurately. A major c r i t i c i s m i s t h e i r i n a b i l i t y to accurately place pupils at t h e i r proper i n s t r u c t i o n a l l e v e l . While these tests measure reading grade l e v e l , and r e l a t e information about the p u p i l i n terms of grade achieve- ment, they tend to overestimate the pupil's actual i n s t r u c t i o n a l reading l e v e l by one-and-a-half to four years (Farr and Anastasiow, 1969). Many au t h o r i t i e s have demonstrated that standardized tests are a c t u a l l y i n d i c a t - ing reading f r u s t r a t i o n l e v e l rather than the i n s t r u c t i o n a l l e v e l (Betts, 1957; M i l l s a p , 1962; Sipay, 1964; Botel, 1957; Dunkeld, 1970). This i s not to denigrate the use of standardized reading t e s t s . Standardized tests are often used i n a comparative way to discriminate the poorer readers from the more able readers. The IRI, on the other hand, i s used to determine'the l e v e l of material that the c h i l d can read with adequate word recognition and comprehension s k i l l s . Both of these i n s t r u - ments have t h e i r place i n a reading program. In order to meet the needs of pupils i n reading, and avoid some of the problems associated with the use of standardized reading t e s t s , i t has been recommended that an IRI be used to supplement the use of a standardized reading t e s t . H i s t o r i c a l Development of the IRI In the early part of the century, the standardized reading t e s t was the most popular means for determining a c h i l d ' s reading l e v e l . In 1920 Gray advocated the use of informal t e s t s . In doing so, Gray was not 17 intending that informal t e s t s be used as a sub s t i t u t e for standardized t e s t s . He f e l t that ". . . informal tests must be used frequently along with standardized t e s t s , i f te s t i n g i s to be continuous and most e f f e c t i v e " (Powell and Dunkeld, 1971, p. 638). Gates and Betts both published books i n 1936 which made reference to the use of informal t e s t i n g . In l i n e with the contemporary view of the importance of o r a l reading performance, Betts wrote: Oral reading t e s t s , e i t h e r formal or informal from standard readers, provide needed evidence. An experienced examiner can note use of context clues and d e f i c i e n c i e s i n word analysis as well as tenden- cies to reverse forms, to repeat, to omit, and to substitute. Not infrequently, c h i l d r e n can a r r i v e at the meaning of a s i l e n t reading s e l e c t i o n and s t i l l evidence f a u l t y o r a l reading (1936, p. 98). It was not u n t i l 1937 that an e f f o r t was made to d i f f e r e n t i a t e reading with ease from reading with d i f f i c u l t y ( D u r r e l l , 1937). In t h i s a r t i c l e , D u r r e l l stated, "In the usual classroom p r a c t i c e , i t appears that c h i l d r e n f i n d d i f f i c u l t y i n mastering material containing more than one d i f f i c u l t word i n twenty running words"(1937, p. 333, c i t e d i n Beldin, 1970). K i l l g a l l o n (1942), under the d i r e c t i o n of Betts, conducted the f i r s t research study which helped to formulate the c r i t e r i a f o r the iden- t i f i c a t i o n of an i n s t r u c t i o n a l l e v e l i n reading, as well as to set probable c r i t e r i a f o r the independent, f r u s t r a t i o n a l and capacity l e v e l s . K i l l g a l l o n administered the Gates Reading Survey, Grades I I I to X, to 211 fourth grade c h i l d r e n i n order to study " c e r t a i n aspects of the general problem of i n d i v i d u a l d ifferences i n reading". In order to check the v a l i d i t y of the data at the i n s t r u c t i o n a l reading l e v e l , he administered an informal reading inventory to every f i f t h p u p i l on the ranked d i s t r i - bution of the tes t r e s u l t s : a t o t a l of 41 p u p i l s . The c r i t e r i a for the 18 lower limits of the functional reading levels were arbitrarily established at a ratio of one error in every fourteen running words (92.86%) for word recognition, and 50 percent or better for comprehension. Despite these results, Killgallon shifted the c r i t e r i a for evaluation to 95 percent word recognition accuracy and 75 percent comprehension accuracy. He jus t i f i e d this shift in c r i t e r i a by stating: The mean comprehension score at the instructional level was 71% (p. 162). . . . The mean percentage of word recognition error was 5.1; the limits of the range, 1.2 and 6.6. In corresponding terms, pupils made approximately five word-perception errors in every 100 running words, or one in every twenty, on the average (p. 165). His f i n a l c r i t e r i a were 95 percent accuracy in word recognition, and 75 percent accuracy for comprehension. Beldin (1970) has suggested that the development of Killgallon's c r i t e r i a may have been based on the early work of Bolenious and Durrell. Bolenious (1919), in his book, Teacher's Manual of Silent and Oral Reading, suggested that a child should grasp at least 50 percent of the ideas in a four hundred word passage. Durrell, as noted previously, suggested the criterion of "one d i f f i c u l t word in twenty running words" (1937, p. 333). Beldin hypothesizes that Killgallon arrived at the 95 percent word recog- nition accuracy criterion by rounding off the figure to f a c i l i t a t e i t s use by classroom teachers. Similarly Beldin feels that the i n i t i a l comprehen- sion figure of 50 percent was shifted to 75 percent, a rounding off of the actual mean comprehension score of 71 percent, for easier reference by teachers. Despite the unorthodox manner by which Killgallon arrived at his cr i t e r i a for the instructional level, his work has been widely quoted, and is recognized as the f i r s t empirical attempt, to establish c r i t e r i a for an informal test, albeit that these c r i t e r i a were not his major concern in 19 his thesis. Betts, building upon the Killgallon study, went on to set c r i t e r i a for the Independent Level, Instructional Level, and Frustration Level, as they are presently called (1936). It i s generally conceded that Betts has been the main influence on the development of c r i t e r i a for the IRI. Much of the research on the IRI have been attempts to modify these c r i t e r i a . Cooper (1952), in a study designed to, in part, establish c r i t e r i a for the instructional level, concluded that the primary levels should have 98 percent accuracy in word recognition and at least 70 percent accuracy in comprehension, and at the intermediate levels, 96 percent accuracy in word recognition and 60 percent accuracy in comprehension. He arrived at these c r i t e r i a by administering an IRI to approximately 1000 children in grades one through six. The children read the passages orally and reread them silently. Based on the word perception errors made, he classified them into five groups according to those who made the most and least errors. Two standardized reading tests were administered at the beginning and at the end of the year. By comparing these results with the IRI's for each group he found that, at the primary level, the groups making the greatest amount of progress in reading achievement, were characterized by 0-1.99 word perception errors per 100 running words at a comprehension of 70 percent. For the intermediate grades, the 0-1.99 and 2-3.99 groups made the greatest gains with 60 percent comprehension scores. He concluded that these groups had been placed in 'suitable' instructional materials, and that the c r i t e r i a should be, for the primary grades, 98 percent accur- acy in word recognition and 70 percent accuracy in comprehension, and for the intermediate grades, 96 percent accuracy in word recognition and 60 percent accuracy in comprehension. 20 This study, while being one of the f i r s t studies of i t s kind, does s u f f e r from some methodological weaknesses. These include, i n part, l i m i t e d range of materials i n the classes for the ch i l d r e n to read, i n t e r - r a t e r r e l i a b i l i t y of IRI scoring, and the l i m i t e d geographical l o c a t i o n used i n the study (McKinlay, 1973). Powell suggests that, the only c e r t a i n conclusion from his (Cooper's) data would seem to support the conception that c h i l d r e n i n f r u s t r a t i o n reading material do not grow i n reading s k i l l , as measured by a standardized t e s t , at a rate commensurate with those c h i l d r e n who are not i n f r u s t r a t i o n a l reading material (1968, p. 7). Sipay (1964) also attempted to v a l i d a t e the c r i t e r i a used f o r scor- ing an IRI. Sipay used Cooper's c r i t e r i a for determining the i n s t r u c - t i o n a l l e v e l , and Betts' c r i t e r i a for determining the f r u s t r a t i o n a l l e v e l . The Metropolitan Reading Test, the Gates Reading Survey, and the C a l i f o r n i a Reading Test were administered to 202 fourth graders. Two forms of an IRI were constructed from the Scott Foresman reading s e r i e s : one being used to determine the subjects' f u n c t i o n a l reading l e v e l s , the other to determine the r e l i a b i l i t y c o e f f i c i e n t using 40 randomly chosen subjects. When Cooper's 'suitable' c r i t e r i a of 96 percent accuracy i n word recognition and 60 percent accuracy i n comprehension were used, " a l l three standardized tests tended to over-estimate the i n s t r u c t i o n a l l e v e l by approximately one or more grade l e v e l s " (p. 267). When Cooper's 'marginal' c r i t e r i a of 9- percent accuracy i n word recognition and 60 percent accuracy i n comprehen- sion were used, the Metropolitan Reading Test, and the Gates Reading Survey tended to indicate the i n s t r u c t i o n a l l e v e l . Sipay stated: These findings suggest that i t i s impossible to generalize as to whether standardized reading test scores tend to indic a t e the i n s t r u c t i o n a l or f r u s t r a t i o n a l l e v e l . Rather, i t appears that i n making such judgements, one must consider the standardized reading tests used and the c r i t e r i a employed to estimate the functional reading l e v e l s (p. 268). 21 He concluded that the use of standardized tests does not appear warranted when used in the selection of the most suitable instructional materials in reading. The Standard Reading Inventory was constructed by McCracken (1964) as a "valid and reliable individual reading test for measuring the reading achievement of elementary school children". He used the c r i t e r i a of Killgallon to determine the independent, instructional, and frustrational levels. The vocabulary of three basal readers was analyzed and test materials developed which were f e l t to have high validity. To check validity further, the Spache Readability Formula was used to determine the d i f f i c u l t y level of the passages at the primary grades, and the Dale-Chall formula used for passages at the intermediate grades. The subjective ratings of twenty-five national experts were used to further support the results. This test was then administered to 664 pupils in grades one through six. Two trained examiners administered the test and the r e l i - a b i l i t y was established. Twelve Pearson product-moment correlations were computed, and ranged from .68 to .99, with a median of .91. McCracken's study resulted in the production of a structured diagnostic test; not an informal reading inventory. While his Standard Reading Inventory is similar to an informal reading inventory, i t should be remembered that a tenet of an informal inventory is that i t is made from materials that the teacher plans to use in classroom instruction. A further weakness with McCracken's Standard Reading Inventory is the efficacy of using K i l l - gallon's evaluative c r i t e r i a . 22 Controversies Related to the Criteria for the IRI The original word recognition c r i t e r i a stated by Killgallon, and later by Betts, are viewed by some reading authorities today as being much too stringent for determining reading levels. Powell asserts that only three (Killgallon, Cooper, and Powell) have attempted to offer data to support their c r i t e r i a (Powell and Dunkeld, 1971). Powell and Dunkeld are not alone in their views, for Lowell (1970) agrees that there is no real evidence to support the c r i t e r i a . Regardless of this disagreement among experts, the IRI is being widely used with the different word recog- nition c r i t e r i a being accepted as norms. The c r i t e r i a for comprehension performance is another area of dis- agreement. Betts originally f e l t that, for the instructional level, a pupil should be able to recall three-fourths of what he read. There are those, however, who feel that this should be reduced to 70 percent, or 60 percent (Cooper, 1952; Powell, 1968; Dunkeld, 1970). One reading authority who challenged the Betts-Killgallon c r i t e r i a for word recognition and comprehension was Powell (1968). He conducted a study to test the hypothesis that "the word-recognition criterion was lower than the 95 percent level and to attempt to pinpoint the probable level" (p. 10). Three examiners collected 178 IRI protocols from average ab i l i t y and middle-class children in grades one through six. The method Powell used was to hold comprehension constant at the lowest acceptable score for classification at the instructional level: 70 percent or higher. The point of entry into the word recognition column was determined by this comprehension score. Word recognition scores were scanned to determine the lowest percentage of word recognition accuracy within this comprehen- sion range. The reason for choosing the 70 percent comprehension level, 23 rather than the 75 percent l e v e l , "was to mitigate (sic) the e f f e c t s of questions asked of the subject. . . . Observation revealed that t h i s precaution was not t r u l y necessary, as only a very small number of cases would have been so a f f e c t e d " (p. 11). No clear explanation i s given for why he would have considered a 75 percent comprehension c r i t e r i o n , but i t can be surmised that t h i s might have.been based on the K i l l g a l l o n c r i t e r i a . Powell's r a t i o n a l e f o r t h i s procedure was, "that i f the youngster's comprehension per cent remained continuously at an acceptable l e v e l , then the f l u c t u a t i o n i n word pronunciation was t o l e r a b l e to the reader" (pp. 11-12). The data from t h i s study, c l e a r l y i n d i c a t e that pupils i n grades one and two can t o l e r a t e on the average an 85 per cent word-recognition score and s t i l l maintain seventy per cent comprehension. The f i n d i n g that pupils i n grades three through s i x could t o l e r a t e on the average a 91 to 94 per cent word-recognition score while maintaining 70 per cent comprehension i s commensurate with the data of K i l l g a l l o n and Schummers. This f i n d i n g was expected (pp. 13-14). A key issue i n t h i s statement i s Powell's use of the term ' t o l e r a b l e ' . Although he does not e x p l i c i t l y define the word, presumably he meant that any v a r i a t i o n i n the word recognition error would not be f r u s t r a t i n g to the reader as long as the comprehension c r i t e r i o n of 7- percent was maintained. Support for Powell's c r i t e r i a was obtained by Dunkeld (1970) i n a study designed to examine the r e l a t i o n s h i p between children's gains i n reading and the d i f f i c u l t y l e v e l of t h e i r i n s t r u c t i o n a l materials. A t o t a l of 212 chi l d r e n , 101 boys and 111 g i r l s , i n grades two through s i x , who had average i n t e l l i g e n c e and reading achievement, were administered the Gates-MacGinitie Reading Tests of vocabulary and comprehension as pre- and post-tests of reading achievement. An IRI was constructed and administered by s i x trained examiners. The IRI passages which best matched the 24 r e a d a b i l i t y of the i n s t r u c t i o n a l materials were noted for each c h i l d . Dunkeld's i n s t r u c t i o n a l l e v e l c r i t e r i a were obtained by comparing c h i l - dren's gains with the d i f f i c u l t y of the i n s t r u c t i o n a l materials. The boundaries for the i n s t r u c t i o n a l l e v e l that he reported were: second grade word recognition scores, 89.5%-95.0%; t h i r d grade word recognition scores, 89.0%-97.0%; and fourth, f i f t h , and s i x t h grade comprehension scores, 60%-90%. Dunkeld concurred with Powell that, the i n s t r u c t i o n a l l e v e l c r i t e r i a most widely encountered i n professional l i t e r a t u r e , when applied to children's o r a l reading at sight, underestimates children's a b i l i t i e s , e s p e c i a l l y at the lower grade l e v e l s , and f a i l s to recognize the need to apply d i f f e r e n t c r i t e r i a at d i f f e r e n t stages of development (p. 6274-A). Two i n t e r e s t i n g findings were reported i n the Dunkeld study. F i r s t l y , he noted that children's performance on the f i r s t passage read was often i n f e r i o r to t h e i r l a t e r performance, suggesting that the f i r s t pas- sage may not be a v a l i d i n d i c a t o r of reading performance. Secondly, he noted the lessening c o r r e l a t i o n between word recognition scores and compre- hension at the higher grade l e v e l s . This l a t t e r f i n d i n g i s i n agreement with Becker, who found that fourth grade c h i l d r e n with the lowest compre- hension scores made the fewest o r a l reading errors, and vice-versa (1970, c i t e d i n Pennock, 1973). Spache (1963) also disagreed with the B e t t s - K i l l g a l l o n c r i t e r i a . In developing h i s Diagnostic Reading Scales he found that the p r a c t i c e of applying the standard of one error i n twenty running words not to be j u s t i - f i e d . Powell and Dunkeld (1970) analyzed f i v e widely used instruments: the Diagnostic Reading Scales, the D u r r e l l Analysis of Reading D i f f i c u l t y , the Gilmore Oral Reading Test, the Gray Oral Reading Test, and the Gates- McKillop Reading Diagnostic Tests. For each of the tests a word count was made of each passage and t h i s f i g u r e divided by the number of 25 permissable errors that could be made in order to stay within the limits of acceptable reading behavior according to the norms. This resulted in a word recognition error ratio. The data from this study indicated that " a l l the word recognition error ratios increase in error latitude as the d i f f i c u l t y of the material increases and the age-grade of the sample increases" (p. 641). They concluded that Powell's (1968) c r i t e r i a for the IRI are appropriate, since the most suitable c r i t e r i a for the IRI were those which attempted "to reflect the progression of the increase of language d i f f i c u l t y and the reader's response to this increase" (p. 641). The research concerning the-criteria for the instructional level of the IRI is far from conclusive in support for one c r i t e r i a over another. While users of the IRI have many c r i t e r i a to choose from, those suggested by Killgallon (1942) and later by Johnson and Kress (1965) appear to be the most widely used today. Table IV summarizes some of the various c r i t e r i a for determining the instructional level of an IRI. Relia b i l i t y and Validity of the IRI Word recognition and comprehension c r i t e r i a are not the only areas of disagreement concerning the IRI. Validity and r e l i a b i l i t y are seldom mentioned with respect to the instrument, but are necessary aspects when dealing with any test. Farr (1969) and Botel (1969) believe that, because the IRI is used to measure reading performance over a number of occasions, the r e l i a b i l i t y w i l l be high. McGinnis (1970) stated that the reactions of the child in the situation are more important than the testing proce- dures. If one is to have confidence in test results, however, one must rely on standard administrative procedures. Criticism leveled at the IRI 26 TABLE IV COMPARISON OF CRITERIA FOR THE INSTRUCTIONAL LEVEL OF THE IRI a Word Author Date Recognition Percentage Comprehension Percentage Comment Betts & K i l l g a l l o n 1942 95 75 Cooper 1952 98 70 Primary 96 60 Intermediate Wheeler & Smith 1957 95 70 N. B. Smith 1959 80 70 Primary Austin & Heubner 1961 95 75 Harris 1961 95 75 Spache (b) 1963 normed by grade 60 Primary Johnson & Kress 1965 95-99 75-90 Powell 1968 85 70 Primary 91-94 70 Intermediate a. a f t e r Powell, 1968 b. Spache, 1963 has often touched on the i n a b i l i t y of the examiner's themselves to accur- a t e l y score IRI's. Lowell (1970) f e e l s that teachers, who are the main users of the inventory, need extensive t r a i n i n g before using i t . Farr (1969) concurs with Lowell, that one of the factors l i m i t i n g the use of the IRI i s " . . . the a b i l i t y to record e r r o r s " (1970, p. 2). Render stated that, anyone who administered an IRI must be able to make decisions about a c h i l d ' s "word analysis s k i l l s , his o r a l reading, h i s s i l e n t read- ing, h i s comprehension, and many other factors involved i n the reading process. . . . The usefulness, then, of an informal reading test i s i n d i r e c t proportion to the knowledge of the examiner who uses i t " (1968, p. 341). I t i s for these reasons that several a u t h o r i t i e s maintain that the IRI should be used together with a standardized reading t e s t . Empirical studies to obtain v a l i d i t y and r e l i a b i l i t y c o e f f i c i e n t s 27 for an IRI have been conducted. McCracken and Mullen (1970) sought to determine i f the data from two informal reading inventories, as well as one standardized reading achievement test, would be valid indicators of reading levels. The Standard Reading Inventory, Form A, the Botel Read- ing Inventory, the Stanford Achievement Tests, and the California Tests of Mental Maturity were administered to 147 children in grades one through six. The manual for both the Standard Reading inventory and the Botel Inventory report the findings of this study. Concurrent validity coef- ficients for these tests were reported as being .80 and .88 (Botel, Brad- ley, and Kashuba, 1970). The r e l i a b i l i t y of an informal reading inventory was obtained by McRae (1974). The Pupil Placement Test, a type of informal reading inventory, was administered to thirty-six sixth grade g i r l s . The raw scores of the sub-tests were divided into halves and a split-half correla- tion computed. McRae concluded that this test was s t a t i s t i c a l l y reliable for his restricted sample. Correlations of .72 and .73 were obtained for the IRI and the Metropolitan Achievement Test, as well as the common find- ing that the standardized test's instructional level was approximately three years above the IRI's. Research Related to the Scoring of the IRI Scoring the word recognition section of an IRI also presents many problems. Experts do not agree on what word recognition errors to include when scoring the word recognition section of an IRI, nor on how to categorize scorable word recognition errors. Most reading tests include the following as scorable word recognition errors: mispronuncia- tions, substitutions, omissions, insertions, words aided, and repetitions. 28 Some tests include the following as scorable word recognition errors: hesitations (Durrell, 1955), reversals (Spache, 1963), and self-corrections (Powell, 1968). The word recognition error of repetitions is one category in which there is particular disagreement as to whether or not to include i t as a scorable error, and i f so, exactly how many words constitute a repetition error. Johnson and Kress (1965) and Ekwall (1976) state that each word repeated is a scorable repetition error. Spache (1963), on the other hand, states that repetitions are a normal part of the reading act, and should only be counted when two or more words are repeated. There is a definite lack of validation for any of the scoring c r i t e r i a , and this is a limiting factor in determining the various reading levels of an IRI. The question as to whether children should read both orally and silently in an IRI also lacks a consensus view by experts. Betts and Killgallon (1942) preceded oral reading by silent reading of the passages, Cooper (1952) used silent reading after oral reading. Johnson and Kress (1965) and Powell (1968) used oral reading only. Busboom (1974) attempted to offer empirical data concerning the relationship between the testing technique, either oral or silent reading, and the instructional and frustrational levels. The Pupil Placement Test was individually administered by one of six examiners to 2G4 second through f i f t h grade children. The children were randomly assigned to four treatment groups: (1) reading orally at sight followed by a comprehension test and an oral rereading, (2) silent reading of a passage followed by a comprehension test, then oral rereading, (3) silent reading preceding the oral reading of a passage, then the comprehension test, and (4) two successive oral readings of the same passage followed by the comprehension test. Powell's 29 c r i t e r i a were used for determining the i n s t r u c t i o n a l and f r u s t r a t i o n a l l e v e l s . Results indicated no differences at the i n s t r u c t i o n a l l e v e l for both word recognition and comprehension between the treatment groups. At the f r u s t r a t i o n l e v e l s i g n i f i c a n t differences were found, the o r a l reading then o r a l rereading and comprehension groups having the highest word recognition scores. Busboom also found a s i g n i f i c a n t grade l e v e l d i f f e r - ence f o r the mean number of omissions and aided word miscues at both the i n s t r u c t i o n a l and f r u s t r a t i o n a l l e v e l s , which i s i n agreement with c r i t e r i a suggested by such a u t h o r i t i e s as Spache (1963) and Powell (1968). P h y s i o l o g i c a l Support for the Reading Levels Of the IRI A f i n a l l i m i t a t i o n to be noted concerning the IRI i s the lack of supporting evidence for the l e v e l s : independent, i n s t r u c t i o n a l , and f r u s - t r a t i o n a l . In a unique approach to the problem, Ekwall and English (1971) used the galvanic skin response to v a l i d a t e the c r i t e r i a for scoring informal inventories, and also to determine whether any one set of c r i t e r i a i s a pplicable to pupils of various i n t e l l i g e n c e l e v e l s , ages, sexes, ethnic backgrounds, and reading l e v e l s . They were p a r t i c u l a r l y interested i n whether or not to count r e p e t i t i o n s as errors. Sixty-two c h i l d r e n i n grades three through f i v e were chosen; one-third were Anglo-American, one- t h i r d were Mexican-American, and one-third were Negro-American. The o r a l reading passages of the Diagnostic Reading Scales were read and recorded on tape while the c h i l d was being monitored by the polygraph i n order to obtain data on the f r u s t r a t i o n or anxiety l e v e l of the c h i l d . Each c h i l d read u n t i l the polygraph indicated f r u s t r a t i o n , and on t h i s passage the percentage of o r a l errors and comprehension errors were computed. Each inventory was scored twice, once counting r e p e t i t i o n s as errors, and once 30 not counting r e p e t i t i o n s as errors. The Wechsler I n t e l l i g e n c e Scale for Children, the House-Tree-Person Test, and the Rorschach Test were also i n d i v i d u a l l y administered to each c h i l d . No s i g n i f i c a n t differences were found i n polygraph-measured f r u s - t r a t i o n reading at the three grade l e v e l s , for either sex, or ethnic group. For the t o t a l sample s i g n i f i c a n t differences were found between polygraph- measured f r u s t r a t i o n and the ten percent o r a l reading errors (or 90 per- cent accuracy) when r e p e t i t i o n s were not counted as errors, however, when re p e t i t i o n s were counted, no s i g n i f i c a n t differences were found. For the comprehension c r i t e r i o n , a s i g n i f i c a n t difference was found between polygraph-measured f r u s t r a t i o n and the 50 percent c r i t e r i o n . Polygraph- measured f r u s t r a t i o n f o r the t o t a l groups was reached when 58.39 percent errors had been made, suggesting to the authors that the 50 percent c r i - t e r i o n was 'adequate' u n t i l further research could be conducted to v e r i f y i f t h i s c r i t e r i o n i s t r u l y the i n s t r u c t i o n a l l e v e l or the f r u s t r a t i o n a l l e v e l (Ekwall, S o l i s , and S o l i s , 1973). Ekwall and English (1971) analyzed the r e s u l t s according to i n t e l - ligence l e v e l , reading achievement l e v e l , and personality type. When the sample was analyzed according to i n t e l l i g e n c e l e v e l , the only s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e found was for the groups one standard deviation below the mean (85 IQ and below), who took an average of 22.40 percent word recognition errors without r e p e t i t i o n s , and 23.00 percent errors with r e p e t i t i o n s to reach f r u s t r a t i o n a l reading l e v e l . This group d i f f e r e d s i g n i f i c a n t l y from c h i l d r e n with normal i n t e l l i g e n c e and those one standard deviation above the mean (115 IQ and above). Since analyses were done with small numbers of ch i l d r e n , the r e s u l t s must be regarded tenuously. Based on these te n t a t i v e findings, however, i t can be suggested that c h i l d r e n who 31 have a low IQ can make more word recognition errors when reading before becoming f r u s t r a t e d . No s i g n i f i c a n t differences were found for the com- prehension c r i t e r i o n . Ekwall and English (1971) found that when the r e s u l t s were analyzed according to reading achievement l e v e l , for word recognition errors, the group reading one year above grade l e v e l d i f f e r e d s i g n i f i c a n t l y from both the average and below average (one year or more below grade l e v e l ) . When comprehension was considered, the above average readers fr u s t r a t e d s i g n i f i c a n t l y sooner than the below average, but no s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e was found between above grade readers and average readers. Rugel (1971) used the galvanic skin response (GSR) as a measure of arousal to determine i f p h y s i o l o g i c a l arousal increases as the reader goes from the independent to the i n s t r u c t i o n a l to the f r u s t r a t i o n a l l e v e l s , and also to evaluate the usefulness of the GSR as an i n d i c a t o r of anxiety i n chi l d r e n with reading problems. Twelve g i r l s and eight boys i n grades two and three, who were average readers, were i n d i v i d u a l l y monitored on GSR as they read a preliminary se r i e s of graded materials. A f t e r v.hls i n i t i a l evaluation, passages at the c h i l d ' s independent, i n s t r u c t i o n a l , and f r u s t r a t i o n a l l e v e l s were determined according to the B e t t s ^ K i l l g a l L o n c r i t e r i a , and the c h i l d was asked to read these passages. The order of presentation was counterbalanced so that each l e v e l appeared an equal number of times i n the f i r s t , middle, and l a s t p o s i t i o n . Arousal was defined i n terms of the number of GSR f l u c t u a t i o n s per minute decreasing 1250 ohms or more. Results indicated that the l e v e l of arousal increased s i g n i f i c a n t l y from the independent l e v e l , but n o n s i g n i f i c a n t l y from the i n s t r u c t i o n a l l e v e l to the f r u s t r a t i o n a l l e v e l . The r e s u l t s of Rugel's study, while supporting the hypothesis that 32 a c h i l d ' s l e v e l o f a r o u s a l i n c r e a s e d as r e a d i n g d i f f i c u l t y i n c r e a s e d , a l s o showed t h a t c h i l d r e n were o b v i o u s l y not r e a d i n g a t a t r u e f r u s t r a t i o n a l l e v e l . Perhaps f o r c h i l d r e n o f t h i s age, the f r u s t r a t i o n a l r e a d i n g l e v e l i s n o t a c c u r a t e l y d e s i g n a t e d by the B e t t s - K i l l g a l l o n c r i t e r i a . J u s t as P o w e l l (1968) o r i g i n a l l y found t h a t , f o r the i n s t r u c t i o n a l l e v e l , more word r e c o g n i t i o n e r r o r s c o u l d be t o l e r a t e d by t h i s age group, so i t may be f o r the f r u s t r a t i o n a l r e a d i n g l e v e l . . Rugel c o n c l u d e d t h a t the GSR was s e n s i t i v e to changes i n r e a d i n g d i f f i c u l t y and c o u l d " p r o b a b l y be a u s e f u l d i a g n o s t i c t o o l w i t h problem r e a d e r s " (1971, p. 460). The purpose of t h i s s e c t i o n has been to t r a c e the development of the IRI and to r e p o r t t h e r e s e a r c h r e l a t e d to t h i s type of i n s t r u m e n t a t i o n . I t s i n t e n t has not been to denounce the use of o t h e r a l t e r n a t i v e s , f o r a f u l l r e a d i n g program r e q u i r e s the use of many i n s t r u m e n t s , • the IRI b e i n g one such means o f measurement i n r e a d i n g . D i f f e r e n t r e s e a r c h e r s have made attempts a t e s t a b l i s h i n g the most e f f i c a b l e c r i t e r i a f o r s c o r i n g the i n s t r u c t i o n a l l e v e l on t h i s i n s t r u m e n t . Nine d i f f e r e n t r e s e a r c h e r s make c l a i m to seven d i f f e r e n t p e r c e n t a g e s of word r e c o g n i t i o n and comprehension ( T a b l e I V ) . Much of the r e s e a r c h has d e a l t w i t h the i n s t r u c t i o n a l l e v e l o f t h e IRI; the f r u s t r a t i o n a l l e v e l has been l a r g e l y i g n o r e d by r e s e a r c h e r s . T h i s r e s e a r c h p r o j e c t attempts to c o n t r i b u t e to t h i s p a u c i t y o f i n f o r m a t i o n . THE GALVANIC SKIN RESPONSE I n t r o d u c t i o n C o n s i d e r a b l e r e s e a r c h has been p u b l i s h e d c o n c e r n i n g the g a l v a n i c s k i n r e s p o n s e (GSR). I t i s n o t the purpose o f t h i s r e v i e w to r e c a p i t u l a t e t h i s r e s e a r c h , but r a t h e r to g i v e a b r i e f d e s c r i p t i o n of t h i s p h y s i o l o g i c a l measure. 33 Terminology There are in use a wide variety of terms to designate the electrical activity of the skin. Two common types of techniques for measuring electro- dermal activity are exosomatic, where a current is passed through the skin from an external source and resistance is measured, and endosomatic, where no current is used and the electrical activity of the skin i t s e l f is measured (Venables and Christie, 1973). This review is concerned with the f i r s t technique. The term GSR is the most widely employed term, and commonly refers to either skin resistance or skin conductance, the latter being the recip- rocal of the former (C=l/R). Early History The f i e l d of electrodermal research has been extensively reviewed (Landis and DeWicke, 1929; Landis, 1932; Neumann and Blanton, 1970). The study of arousal and physiological phenomen is generally con- ceded to have begun in 1888 with the work of Fere. He proposed a theory that 'psychic energy' was affected by sensations, and by the intensity of those sensations (Neumann and Blanton, 1970). Fere experimented with sensory and emotional stimuli and their effect on skin resistance responses, noting they were accompanied by a decrease in skin resistance. Since this early beginning, a large body of literature has developed relating electrodermal responses and arousal theory. Mechanics Numerous theoretical approaches to arousal, based on the various components of the response have been hypothesized. A l l of these approaches deal with arousal as a unitary variable which should be manifested by 34 generalized increases in both the central and autonomic nervous systems. When an individual is aroused, sweating occurs in the 'emotional sweating areas': the palms of the hands. The amount of sweating of the palms reflects the degree of activation of the palmar sympathetic nervous fibres. Sweat, being a salty solution, conducts electricity well, and when an electrical current is passed through the skin, a certain amount of resis- tance is met. The higher the concentrate of sweat, or salty solution, the lower the resistance that is met (Sternbaeh., 1966) . This decrease may be either short-term and referred to as a response, or i t may be long-term, and referred to as baseline change. The former is stimulus specific; the latter is a global function of mental, emotional and environmental set, or called generalized arousal (Grossman, 1967). Ohm's law is used to express the relationship among the electrical factors. This law can be stated in three ways: V(voltage) = I(current) x R(resistance), or R=V/l, or I=V/R. The resistance of an individual is variable and is dependent on his arousal level, the individual can be con- sidered as the variable resistor. When a small current is passed through the individual, changes in skin resistance can be measured in terms of voltage change, or' conversely, the voltage may be held constant and changes in current can be measured, representing a response to a stimulus. The less sweating, the higher the resistance to the current; the more sweating, the lower the resistance to the current (Sternbaeh, 1966). Results can be stated in ohms, which are the units of measurement for resistance, or in mhos, which are the units of measurement for conductance. 35 Research Issues The use of baseline change or tonic l e v e l s as an index of general- ized arousal i s strongly endorsed (Duffy, 1962; Raskin et a l . , 1969). Unfortunately, tonic l e v e l s vary, depending on a number of v a r i a b l e s , including the i n d i v i d u a l , sex, environment, and electrode s i t e s . E l e c - trode placement can be e a s i l y c o n t r o l l e d i n research. Environment, another important v a r i a b l e , can be manipulated i n order to reduce the error variance. I d e a l l y the experimental s i t u a t i o n should be between 20° to 30° Cels i u s , with random noises reduced to a minimum, and good l i g h t i n g pro- vided when tasks are required of the subjects (Scholander, 1963). Some aspects of the i n d i v i d u a l which have s i g n i f i c a n c e i n e l e c t r o - dermal research are age and sex of the subject. The work of Schmovian et a l . (1965, 1968) suggests that, although male subjects show higher e l e c t r o - dermal responsivity, and lower s k i n response l e v e l , these sex differences are not observed i n pre-puberty subjects. P h y s i o l o g i c a l and metabolical differences within the i n d i v i d u a l are variables which are r e l a t i v e l y uncontrollable. When comparing i n d i v i d u a l s using the basal l e v e l as a measure of generalized arousal, one must be p a r t i c u a r l y c a r e f u l . When considering the amplitude of response, i t i s necessary to r e f e r to the 'law of i n i t i a l value'. This law, simply stated, says that the s i z e of a response i s r e l a t e d to the l e v e l from which i t started (Venables and C h r i s t i e , 1973). While t h i s law i s s t i l l c o n t r o v e r s i a l i n physio- l o g i c a l l i t e r a t u r e , i t has merit when using a measure such as GSR or amplitude of response. To i l l u s t r a t e t h i s law, consider two i n d i v i d u a l s , one having a basal l e v e l of 100 kohms and the other 20 kohms. When presented with the same stimulus, one has the p o t e n t i a l to decrease 100 kohms while the other 20 kohms. If one compares only absolute raw 36 di f f e r e n c e s , then one would conclude that the 100 kohm decrease i s a more powerful response than the 20 kohm response. In f a c t , the responses are equal: they are maximal. The extent of a response i s dependent upon the l e v e l of resistance before the response, and i s a function of the pre- stimulus l e v e l . The degree of t h i s dependence varies from person to person, and from one p h y s i o l o g i c a l v a r i a b l e to another. When measuring a response to stimulation t h i s pre-stimulus l e v e l must be considered (Sternbaeh, 1966). Lykken et a l . (1966, 1968) have suggested a means of measuring r e l a t i v e response i n terms of a person's range of values on that v a r i a b l e . They found that the skin conductance l e v e l shown by one subject a f t e r a 30 minute rest period was twice as high as the maximum of another subject's while blowing up a balloon u n t i l i t bursts. In comparing these two subjects, or any subjects, each one's conductance l e v e l s must be expressed i n terms of h i s own maximum-minimum scale. The procedure of having sub- j e c t s blow up a balloon u n t i l i t burst has been found to be quite e f f e c t i v e as a means for producing a maximum value of arousal; the minimum value being simpler to obtain (Lykken et a l . , 1968; Lykken and Venables, 1971; Venables and C h r i s t i e , 1973). Electrodermal Research i n Education Research i n education has tended to avoid the use of the e l e c t r o - dermal response as a v a r i a b l e i n studies dealing with arousal. There i s a d e f i n i t e paucity of research i n t h i s area. In psychology, i n t e r e s t has been directed towards i n d i v i d u a l differences i n electrodermal a c t i v i t y and performance i n a number of s i t u a t i o n s . This word often uses the o r i e n t i n g response (OR). The OR i s a "generalized response to mild or moderately 37 intense or novel stimuli, and habituates upon repetition of the stimuli" (Raskin, 1973, p. 128). Research indicates that the amplitude of the OR seems to be related to individual differences in attentional, and learning capacities (Maltzman and Raskin, 1965). High OR's have been found to show higher levels of semantic learning (i.e., paired-associate learning) for males (Raskin, 1969). In one of the few educational studies using electrodermal responses, the OR patterns of readers and nonreaders were compared (Hunter et a l . , 1972). Twenty boys with a mean age of 9.9 years, of normal intelligence, and no severe motor, sensory, neurological, or emotional deficits, but who were retarded in reading an average of 2.4 years, served as the 'nonreader' group. Twenty control subjects, with a mean age of 9.11 years were matched with the nonreaders on sex, age, race, intelligence, and socioecon- omic status. The children listened to fifteen ten second auditory tones (habituation), and were required to push a button for five tones with a f i f t y second interval (reaction time). The results, with regard to electrodermal activity, indicated that the nonreaders had lower mean skin conductance levels across a l l t r i a l s , and a higher skin resistance response amplitude on t r i a l one of both tasks. Hunter et a l . found that reading a b i l i t y was significantly negatively correlated with motor reaction time, and skin resistance response amplitude to novel stimuli. The nonreader's lower skin conductance level i s indicative of a lower arousal, or atten- tional level. There is support for Hunter et al.'s findings in a study dealing with learning disabled children, in which Boydstun et a l . (1968) found that these children were physiologically less reactive or attentive to 'meaningful' stimuli. Dureman and Palshammar (1970) also found that 38 c h i l d r e n rated as having low persistence i n school work had s i g n i f i c a n t l y lower l e v e l s of skin conductance which decreased over time, as compared to c h i l d r e n rated as being high i n persistence. It has been suggested that nonreaders have an a t t e n t i o n a l d e f i c i t , or are "lacking i n those s p e c i f i c arousal or emotive supports necessary for sustained attention and learning" (Dykman et a l . , 1970). I t has also been suggested that perhaps dyslexia i s a symptom of hereditary immaturity (Money, 1966; Johnson and Myklebust, 1967): p h y s i o l o g i c a l immaturity being one i n d i c a t i o n that t h i s may be so. Two studies more d i r e c t l y related to reading have been done by Carter (1950) and Proctor (1953). Carter used college students as subjects i n h i s study. Groups of superior and i n f e r i o r readers were asked to read aloud and the changes i n t h e i r skin resistance were recorded as they read. S i g n i f i c a n t differences between groups were not found i n t o t a l changes recorded during the e n t i r e time of reading, but the differences were s i g n i f i c a n t on the more d i f f i c u l t paragraphs, the i n f e r i o r readers showing the greatest drop i n resistance on those paragraphs. However, c e r t a i n methodological factors cast doubt on the v a l i d i t y of the conclu- sions. F i r s t l y , t h i s study took no account of differences i n GSR r e a c t i v i t y that has been found to e x i s t between i n t e l l i g e n c e groups. Reading a b i l i t y correlates c l o s e l y with i n t e l l i g e n c e , and therefore any technique comparing GSR of groups of d i f f e r i n g i n t e l l i g e n c e must allow for t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p i f r e s u l t s are to be v a l i d . Secondly, the subjects t o t a l loss of resistance i n ohms i s a s t a t i s t i c a l l y unsound basis for analysis since i t i s not equivalent from one to another, and i s not equal over the t o t a l range of a d i s t r i b u t i o n (Haggard, 1949). L a s t l y , the Carter study cannot confidently be applied to elementary school chi l d r e n . Elementary school c h i l d r e n were used i n the Proctor study (1953) , 39 which sought to discover i f the GSR of below cla s s readers were more f r e - quent or of greater amplitude than either average or above cla s s readers. Using a standardized test of s i l e n t reading a b i l i t y , Proctor divided the c h i l d r e n on the basis of word meanings and paragraph comprehension into three groups. The average readers were within a h a l f (.5) standard deviation from the class mean, and the above class readers were more than one standard deviation above the class mean, and the below class readers were more than one standard deviation below the class mean. Sixty-three subjects of normal i n t e l l i g e n c e , as defined by Proctor, (75 IQ and above), twenty-one per group, were randomly selected. The subjects were required to do four tasks while being monitored on a polygraph: (1) read d i g i t s , (2) respond to a word ass o c i a t i o n t e s t , (3) read the Grays Oral Reading Paragraphs, and (4) do a d i g i t span t e s t . The GSR of each subject which exceeded one micromho i n amplitude was counted. The r e s u l t s suggested that two types of anxiety were operating; for the good readers an a n t i - cipatory anxiety, and for the poor readers a f r u s t r a t i o n anxiety. No d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n between the groups was found on the non text reading tasks. The reading tasks, when increasing i n d i f f i c u l t y , resulted i n an increase i n the numbers of GSR's per group, with amplitude increasing s i g n i f i c a n t l y for the average and below class readers, but n o n - s i g n i f i c a n t l y for the above class readers. The r e l a t i o n s h i p between increase i n d i f f i c u l t y of reading materials and increased frequency of GSR was s i g n i f i c a n t l y greater for the below class readers than for the other groups. Increases i n amplitude were s i g n i f i c a n t l y greater for the above class readers. Ekwall and English's (1971) r e s u l t s concur with Proctor's (1953) i n that above average readers seem to show higher arousal i n i t i a l l y and t h i s l e v e l does not change s i g n i f i c a n t l y with the d i f f i c u l t y of the reading materials, 40 whereas the average or below average readers show greater GSR increases, i n d i c a t i n g higher arousal as the d i f f i c u l t y of the material increases. The IRI and Anxiety The c h i l d , as he reads an IRI, i d e a l l y proceeds from an independent l e v e l , through the i n s t r u c t i o n a l l e v e l to the f r u s t r a t i o n a l l e v e l . At the f r u s t r a t i o n a l l e v e l , the c h i l d i s unable to handle the material, and i t i s at t h i s point that arousal or anxiety should be apparent. Knowing the c h i l d ' s f r u s t r a t i o n a l reading l e v e l i s suggested as being important for two reasons. F i r s t l y , materials at t h i s l e v e l should be avoided for the c h i l d ' s i n s t r u c t i o n . Secondly, to give the teacher some i n d i c a t i o n of the rate at which the c h i l d might progress when taught at h i s i n s t r u c t i o n a l l e v e l (Johnson and Kress, 1972). I f the c h i l d i s f r u s t r a t e d j u s t one passage above h i s i n s t r u c t i o n a l l e v e l , then there i s the p o s s i b i l i t y that much work w i l l be needed i n order for that c h i l d to progress. Faster progress i s more l i k e l y when these two l e v e l s are spread more evenly, although t h i s has not been shown empiri c a l l y . Emotional states, such as f r u s t r a t i o n and anxiety, and the accompany- ing p h y s i o l o g i c a l l e v e l of arousal, have a detrimental e f f e c t on learning e f f i c i e n c y (Spence and Spence, 1966; Spielberger, 1966). When a c h i l d has a reading problem i t i s d i f f i c u l t to ascertain whether anxiety was the causal f a c t o r , or the resultant f a c t o r , but the presence of high l e v e l s of anxiety i s known to be detrimental to learning. The e f f e c t of anxiety on school learning has been researched by Saranson et a l . (1960, 1964, 1966). They studied 670 c h i l d r e n from grade one through t h e i r fourth grade. In grades one and three the Test of Anxiety f o r Children (TASC), the L i e Scale for Children, and the Deferisive- ness Scale f o r Children were administered. Each year the Lofge-Thorndike 41 I n t e l l i g e n c e Test was administered, and at the end of the second and fourth grades, achievement tests were administered. On the basis of the f i r s t grade t e s t i n g , the c h i l d r e n were s p e c i f i e d as having either a high anxiety l e v e l (HA), or a low anxiety l e v e l (LA). At the t h i r d grade l e v e l they were again retested and anxiety l e v e l s again s p e c i f i e d . The r e s u l t s of t h i s massive study indicated that reading scores were most affected by high anxiety l e v e l s . The LA subjects showed higher mean achievement scores than the HA subjects. Boys c l a s s i f i e d as HA i n grade one were, on the average, f i v e months behind the LA boys by grade two, and eight months behind by grade four. For the HA g i r l s , they were behind the LA g i r l s an average of s i x months i n grade two, and nine months by grade four. Saranson et a l . (1964) concluded: F i r s t , the depressing e f f e c t of anxiety upon achievement test performance i s stronger for both boys and g i r l s than previous r e s e a r c h — c r o s s - s e c t i o n a l i n nature—had indicated. Secondly, the differences i n achievement scores are too large to be accounted for s o l e l y by the differences i n IQ scores (p. 28). With regards to i n t e l l i g e n c e and anxiety, Feldhusen and Klausmeier (1962) state: Superior mental a b i l i t y may make i t possible for a c h i l d to assess more adequately the r e a l and present danger i n any current threatening object, s i t u a t i o n , or person. Thus, his fears may be s p e c i f i c and ascertainable and unrelated to v a r i a t i o n s i n an already high mental a b i l i t y . Children of low and average IQ may show greater anxiety or generalized fear and a close r e l a t i o n between IQ and anxiety because of t h e i r l i m i t e d i n t e l l e c t u a l capacity to evaluate the threat of danger i n objects, s i t u a t i o n s , or people that confront them. In t h i s study, an upper l i m i t of i n t e l l e c t u a l advantages seemed to be reached at an IQ of 120, for a nonsignificant c o r r e l a t i o n was found with IQ's of 120-146 ( c i t e d i n Saranson et a l . , 1964, p. 41). This d e s c r i p t i o n of anxiety c l o s e l y resembles the e f f e c t of reading a b i l i t y and arousal that Proctor (1953) stated i n h i s study, and to the r e s u l t s of Haggard's c l a s s i c study of g i f t e d c h i l d r e n (1957). P h i l l i p s (1967) also studied anxiety and i t s e f f e c t on school 42 achievement. P h i l l i p s ' s r e s u l t s support those of Saranson et a l . ' s , that a high l e v e l of anxiety i s negatively correlated with reading achieve- ment i n the elementary grades; when anxiety decreases, reading achievement increases. These studies h i g h l i g h t the importance of reducing high l e v e l s of anxiety, or p h y s i o l o g i c a l arousal, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the reading s i t u a t i o n . A c h i l d must be prevented from reading at h i s f r u s t r a t i o n l e v e l , where anxiety i s high. In order to prevent t h i s , h i s f r u s t r a t i o n l e v e l must be known and avoided. The IRI i s one method for determining t h i s l e v e l , but as the e a r l i e r part of t h i s review suggested, the IRI i s not without i t s problems. While most work has centered on the IRI and c r i t e r i a for determining the i n s t r u c t i o n a l l e v e l , the f r u s t r a t i o n l e v e l has been p r a c t i c a l l y ignored i n research. CHAPTER I I I METHOD Selection of the Subjects The Stanford Achievement Test (1972) was administered to i n t a c t classrooms of second and t h i r d grade ch i l d r e n i n the schools a l l o t t e d to the study by the Vancouver School Board. Level II of the test was admin- is t e r e d to the second grade population and Level I I I to the t h i r d grade population. This involved 57 grade two chil d r e n and 73 grade three children. From the r e s u l t s of t h i s test the ch i l d r e n were s t r a t i f i e d into below average, average and above average reading groups (Table I I ) . TABLE II CLASSIFICATION OF READING ACHIEVEMENT GROUPS ACCORDING TO GRADE LEVEL Below Average Average Above Average Grade 2 below 2.3 2.4 to 2.7 above 2.8 Grade 3 below 3.2 3.3 to 3.8 above 3.9 Parental consent forms (see Appendix) were sent home with each c h i l d . From the s e l e c t population of c h i l d r e n whose fa m i l i e s consented to the study in v o l v i n g t h e i r c h i l d r e n , t h i r t y c h i l d r e n were selected from each grade. Ten c h i l d r e n were assigned to each of the reading achievement l e v e l s using a table of random numbers (Glass and Stanley, 1970, p. 510), as i s shown i n Table I I I . 43 44 TABLE I I I SELECTION OF THE SUBJECTS Reading Achievement Levels Below Average Average Above Average To t a l Grade 2 10 10 10 30 Grade 3 10 10 10 30 To t a l 20 20 20 60 Materials The Wide Range Achievement Test-Level I (Jastak, Bijou, and Jastak,. 1965) was used to determine each subject's c r i t e r i o n arousal l e v e l (CAL). The Diagnostic Reading Scales (Spache, 1963, 1972) were used an an informal reading inventory (IRI) i n t h i s study. The accurate r e a d a b i l i t y ratings of the eleven passages, which range i n d i f f i c u l t y from a 1.6 to 8.5 grade l e v e l , and secondly, the r e a d a b i l i t y of these passages "appear to represent the clos e s t approximation to equal-interval s c a l i n g among the tests analyzed" (Pennock, i n press, 1976, p. 3) were the major reasons f o r choosing t h i s t e s t . This study was i n accord with that of Ekwall and English (1971) who also used the Diagnostic Reading Scales as an IRI. Apparatus Each c h i l d ' s o r a l reading of the passages of the Diagnostic Reading Scales and h i s responses on the comprehension section for each passage were recorded to insure accuracy of scoring and t e s t scoring v e r i f i c a t i o n . 45 Measuring Equipment: GSR Recording The galvanic skin response (GSR) was continuously recorded on a Lafayette Model 7601TP D.C. amplifier with chart speed of lmm/sec. The electrodes were placed on the dorsal surfaces of the index and r i n g fingers of the nonpreferred hand. Procedures were tested on seven c h i l d r e n i n order to develop t e s t i n g techniques and scoring procedures. A polygraph expert examined the galvanic skin response p r o f i l e s for s e n s i t i v i t y and accuracy of recording. These records showed a good response pattern. Procedure Each subject was escorted to the prepared room by the experimenter. Once i n the room each was assured that the treatment would not be p a i n f u l . Subjects were seated i n a chair and the electrodes attached. During t h i s time i t was explained that there would be no pain or e f f e c t s from the electrodes. Each subject was given an adaptation period during which the baseline l e v e l was established. Two techniques were used to measure p h y s i o l o g i c a l arousal i n each subject. F i r s t l y , the subject was asked to read the words on the Wide Range Achievement Test-Level 1 (1965) i n order to e s t a b l i s h an arousal l e v e l based on performance i n a reading task. Each c h i l d read u n t i l the GSR had plateaued and habituation began. Each subject's reaction was recorded on the GSR print-out and t h i s measured i n centimeters as the maximum d e f l e c t i o n from the baseline l e v e l . This measure was used as the subject's c r i t e r i o n arousal l e v e l (CAL). Secondly, the subject was asked to blow up a balloon ' u n t i l i t bursts'. This t e s t i n g s i t u a t i o n was terminated for each c h i l d before the balloon burst. The measure obtained served as an index of the ch i l d ' s maximum arousal l e v e l i n a non-verbal 46 s i t u a t i o n . In a l l c h i l d r e n t h i s measure provided a greater arousal l e v e l than did the Wide Range Achievement Test. This enabled the experimenter to compare how close the c r i t e r i o n arousal l e v e l was to the higher non-verbal arousal l e v e l . A f t e r the subject had relaxed again, i t was explained that he would read some passages o r a l l y , and be asked some questions about what he had read. The f i r s t passage was then given to the subject, and he read t h i s o r a l l y . Upon completion, the booklet.was taken away, and the com- prehension questions asked. The subject was then administered the next highest l e v e l of the Diagnostic Reading Scales and the same procedure of measuring and recording followed. Each subject was to have continued reading through the graded passages of the Diagnostic Reading Scales u n t i l the GSR indicated that he had reached h i s c r i t e r i o n arousal l e v e l (CAL). In the data gathering s i t u a t i o n the subjects did not e x h i b i t the same c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s as did the c h i l d r e n used by the experimenter i n t e s t i n g the procedures. None of the subjects attained t h e i r c r i t e r i o n arousal l e v e l during the reading of the passages, regardless of passage d i f f i c u l t y . Because of t h i s , f r u s t r a t i o n a l l e v e l i n reading had to be determined by the c r i t e r i a as set f o r t h i n Johnson and Kress (1965). For each passage read, a notation was made on the GSR print-out of the number of the passage and a d i v i d i n g l i n e made to separate the o r a l reading of each passage from the comprehension section. Treatment of the Data The passage at which the GSR indicated that the subject's CAL had been reached was to have been scored for word recognition and comprehension accuracy. An average word recognition and comprehension accuracy score 47 was to be computed using the total sample and these scores s t a t i s t i c a l l y compared to the c r i t e r i a as set forth in Johnson and Kress (1965). This treatment of the data could not be completed since the frustrational level of reading had to be determined using the c r i t e r i a stated in Johnson and Kress (1965) rather than from the criterion arousal level. In order to analyze the data, an index of arousal for the IRI passages at the frustrational, pre-frustrational, and instructional levels was determined for both the oral reading and the comprehension sections, and a mean level of arousal computed for each subject at the frustrational level of reading. This was obtained by measuring the maximum point of deflection from the baseline level in centimeters. An average level of arousal was computed for the total sample and used in the comparisons of arousal levels between the instructional and pre-frustrational levels. St a t i s t i c a l analyses were conducted using a two-way analysis of variance for a repeated measures design using ANOV:23 (1969). Verification of scoring accuracy in-the informal reading inventory was obtained. A graduate student in the Reading Education Department of U.B.C. scored the protocols of randomly selected subjects. He concurred with the experimenter's scoring. The polygraph advisor surveyed the profiles for accuracy in scoring proceedures. CHAPTER IV RESULTS OF THE STUDY Introduction The purpose of t h i s chapter i s to report the data obtained from the administration of an informal reading inventory (IRI) while the subjects were monitored on the galvanic skin response (GSR). The IRI was admin- i s t e r e d to grade two and three ch i l d r e n who had been s t r a t i f i e d on reading achievement i n order to answer c e r t a i n questions regarding the f r u s t r a t i o n a l l e v e l of reading and arousal l e v e l s of c h i l d r e n reading at d i f f e r e n t achievement l e v e l s . S p e c i f i c a l l y , the purposes set for t h i s study were: 1. To determine the word recognition and comprehension c r i t e r i a f o r the f r u s t r a t i o n a l reading l e v e l as determined by the galvanic skin response (GSR). 2. To compare the c r i t e r i a f o r the f r u s t r a t i o n a l reading l e v e l as established by Betts and K i l l g a l l o n (1942) to the f r u s t r a t i o n a l reading l e v e l as determined by the GSR. 3. To compare both word recognition and comprehension arousal l e v e l s , as measured by the GSR at the i n s t r u c t i o n a l , p r e - f r u s t r a t i o n a l , and f r u s - t r a t i o n a l reading l e v e l s of an informal reading inventory. 4. To compare the GSR measured f r u s t r a t i o n a l reading l e v e l s and the per- centages of word recognition and comprehension accuracy at three l e v e l s of reading achievement: below, average, and above average. 5. To compare the mean GSR arousal l e v e l s of boys and g i r l s at the 48 49 f r u s t r a t i o n a l l e v e l of reading. In order to analyze the data the hypotheses were stated i n the n u l l form. Hypothesis 1 At the f r u s t r a t i o n a l l e v e l of reading as determined by the subject's CAL there w i l l be no s i g n i f i c a n t difference between the GSR measured arousal l e v e l and the l e v e l on the GSR where the 90 percent word recognition c r i t e r i o n on the IRI was applied. During the reading of the Diagnostic Reading Scales passages the c r i t e r i o n arousal l e v e l as determined by the GSR was never attained by any subject i n the sample. The f r u s t r a t i o n a l l e v e l of reading was therefore determined using the c r i t e r i a stated i n Johnson and Kress (1965). This hypothesis became, therefore, untestable. Hypothesis 2 At the f r u s t r a t i o n a l l e v e l of reading as determined by the subject's CAL there w i l l be no s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e between the GSR measured arousal l e v e l and the l e v e l on the GSR where the 50 percent compre- hension c r i t e r i o n on the IRI was applied. For reasons s p e c i f i e d above, t h i s hypothesis was untestable. Hypothesis 3 At the i n s t r u c t i o n a l l e v e l of reading as determined by the adminis- t r a t i o n of an IRI there w i l l be no s i g n i f i c a n t difference between the GSR measured arousal l e v e l found during the o r a l reading and that found during the comprehension section of the t e s t . The observed F r a t i o (.026) shown i n Table V f a i l e d to obtain s i g - n i f i c a n c e at the .05 l e v e l of confidence. Hypothesis 3, therefore, was not rejected. 50 TABLE V ANALYSIS OF VARIANCE: COMPARISON OF AROUSAL LEVELS AT THE INSTRUCTIONAL LEVEL OF READING Source SS DF MS F Word Recognition to Comprehension 21.375 1 21.375 0.026 This would mean that at the i n s t r u c t i o n a l l e v e l of reading there was no s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e i n the anxiety l e v e l between the o r a l reading of the passage and the comprehension section of the t e s t . Hypothesis 4 At the p r e - f r u s t r a t i o n a l l e v e l of reading there w i l l be no s i g n i f - icant d i f f e r e n c e between the GSR measured arousal l e v e l found during the o r a l reading and that found during the comprehension section of the t e s t . For many subjects there were no reading passages between t h e i r i n s t r u c t i o n a l l e v e l and t h e i r f r u s t r a t i o n a l l e v e l of reading. For t h i s reason the p r e - f r u s t r a t i o n a l l e v e l of reading had to be abandoned i n the analyses, thus making t h i s hypothesis untestable. Hypothesis 5 At the f r u s t r a t i o n a l l e v e l of reading as determined by the subject's c r i t e r i o n arousal l e v e l (CAL) there w i l l be no s i g n i f i c a n t difference between the GSR measured arousal l e v e l found during the o r a l reading and that found during the comprehension section of the te s t . As explained previously, the f r u s t r a t i o n l e v e l of reading had to be determined by using the c r i t e r i a set f o r t h by Johnson and Kress (1965). As a r e s u l t , t h i s hypothesis was untestable. As a consequence the follow- ing hypothesis was generated: Hypothesis 5(a) At the f r u s t r a t i o n a l l e v e l of reading as determined by the adminis- t r a t i o n of an IRI there w i l l be no s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e between 51 the GSR measured arousal l e v e l found during the o r a l reading and that found during the comprehension section of the t e s t . The observed F r a t i o (1.572) shown i n Table VI f a i l e d to obtain s i g n i f i c a n c e at the .05 l e v e l of confidence. Hypothesis 5(a), there- fore was not rejected. This would mean that i n the sample of c h i l d r e n the l e v e l of .anxiety did not appear to be d i f f e r e n t during the o r a l reading and the comprehension sections of the test at the f r u s t r a t i o n a l l e v e l of reading as determined by the c r i t e r i a set f o r t h by Johnson and Kress (1965). TABLE VI ANALYSIS OF VARIANCE: COMPARISONS OF AROUSAL LEVELS AT THE FRUSTRATIONAL LEVEL OF READING Source SS DF MS F Word Recognition to Comprehension 675.726 1 675.726 1.572 Between Reading Achievement Groups 9717.582 2 4858.789 0.884 Sex . 9332.359 1 9332.359 1.739 Hypothesis 6 At the f r u s t r a t i o n a l l e v e l of reading as determined by the sub- j e c t ' s CAL there w i l l be no s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e between the GSR measured arousal l e v e l of c h i l d r e n reading above average compared to c h i l d r e n reading at grade l e v e l . For reasons s p e c i f i e d above, t h i s hypothesis was untestable. As a consequence the following hypothesis was generated. Hypothesis 6(a) At the f r u s t r a t i o n a l l e v e l of reading as determined by the admin- i s t r a t i o n of an IRI there w i l l be no s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e between the GSR measured arousal l e v e l of c h i l d r e n reading above average compared to c h i l d r e n reading at grade l e v e l . 52 The observed F r a t i o (.884) shown i n Table VI f a i l e d to obtain s i g n i f i c a n c e at the .05 l e v e l of confidence. Hypothesis 6(a), therefore, was not rejected. This would mean that i n the sample of c h i l d r e n anxiety l e v e l did not appear to be d i f f e r e n t f o r c h i l d r e n reading above average compared to chi l d r e n reading at grade l e v e l . Hypothesis 7 At the f r u s t r a t i o n a l l e v e l of reading as determined by the subject's CAL there w i l l be no s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e between the GSR measured arousal l e v e l of c h i l d r e n reading above average compared to c h i l d r e n reading below average. For reasons s p e c i f i e d above, t h i s hypothesis was untestable. As a consequence the following hypothesis was generated. Hypothesis 7(a) At the f r u s t r a t i o n a l l e v e l of reading as determined by the adminis- t r a t i o n of an IRI there w i l l be no s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e between the GSR measured arousal l e v e l of chi l d r e n reading above average compared to c h i l d r e n reading below average. The observed F r a t i o (.884) as shown i n Table VI f a i l e d to obtain s i g n i f i c a n c e at the .05 l e v e l of confidence. Hypothesis 7(a), therefore, was not rejected. This would mean that i n the sample of c h i l d r e n anxiety l e v e l did not appear to be d i f f e r e n t f o r chi l d r e n reading above average compared to ch i l d r e n reading below average. Hypothesis 8 At the f r u s t r a t i o n a l l e v e l of reading as determined by the subject's CAL there w i l l be no s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e between the GSR measured arousal l e v e l of c h i l d r e n reading at grade l e v e l compared to c h i l d r e n reading below average. For reasons s p e c i f i e d above, t h i s hypothesis was untestable. As a consequence the following hypothesis was generated. 53 Hypothesis 8(a) At the f r u s t r a t i o n a l l e v e l of reading as determined by the admin- i s t r a t i o n of an IRI there w i l l be no s i g n i f i c a n t difference between the GSR measured arousal l e v e l of chi l d r e n reading at grade l e v e l compared to c h i l d r e n reading below average. The observed F r a t i o (.884) as shown i n Table VI f a i l e d to obtain s i g n i f i c a n c e at the .05 l e v e l of confidence. Hypothesis 8(a), therefore, was not rejected. This would mean that i n the sample of c h i l d r e n anxiety l e v e l did not appear to be d i f f e r e n t for c h i l d r e n reading at grade l e v e l compared to chi l d r e n reading below average. Hypothesis 9 At the f r u s t r a t i o n a l l e v e l of reading as determined'by the subject's CAL there w i l l be no s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e between the boys and the g i r l s . For reasons s p e c i f i e d above, t h i s hypothesis was untestable. As a consequence the following hypothesis was generated. Hypothesis 9(a) At the f r u s t r a t i o n a l l e v e l of reading as determined by the admin- i s t r a t i o n of an IRI there w i l l be no s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e between the GSR measured arousal l e v e l of the boys and the g i r l s . The observed F r a t i o (1.739) as shown i n Table VI f a i l e d to obtain s i g n i f i c a n c e at the .05 l e v e l of confidence. Hypothesis 9(a), therefore, was not rejected. This would mean that i n the sample of c h i l d r e n anxiety l e v e l did not appear to be d i f f e r e n t for the boys and the g i r l s . CHAPTER V SUMMARIES, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS Summary of Methods A review of the l i t e r a t u r e indicated that the i n s t r u c t i o n a l l e v e l of an informal reading inventory has been empirically researched over the years, with recent studies suggesting that the o r i g i n a l performance c r i t e r i a established by Betts and K i l l g a l l o n may be too stringent for chi l d r e n i n grades one through three. The c r i t e r i a f o r determining the f r u s t r a t i o n a l l e v e l of an informal reading inventory (IRI) have been l a r g e l y ignored i n the research. Behavioral c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s for the three l e v e l s of the IRI (inde- pendent, i n s t r u c t i o n a l , and f r u s t r a t i o n a l ) are often c i t e d with the performance c r i t e r i a f o r determining a l e v e l , but lack substantiation by empirical data. At the independent and i n s t r u c t i o n a l l e v e l s , Johnson and Kress (1965) state that the reading should be free from such signs as l i p movements, finger pointing, head movements, subvocalizations, and anxiety about performance; these behavior c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s being more l i k e l y to occur at the f r u s t r a t i o n a l l e v e l of reading, where the reading i s d i f f i c u l t and therefore l i k e l y to produce anxiety i n the c h i l d . The use of the galvanic skin response (GSR) seemed an appropriate instrument by which to v a l i d a t e e m p i r i c a l l y the c r i t e r i a f o r the f r u s t r a - t i o n a l l e v e l of reading i n an IRI. The GSR i s commonly used to determine high l e v e l s of a r o u s a l , . p a r t i c u l a r l y with regard to truthfulness and 54 55 d e c e i t f u l n e s s . Ekwall and English (1971) used the GSR, as well as other physio- l o g i c a l responses, to v a l i d a t e the c r i t e r i a used to determine the f r u s - t r a t i o n a l l e v e l of reading i n an IRI. A polygraph expert was used to predetermine each subject's high arousal l e v e l . Each subject read graded passages while being monitored on the polygraph and "at the f r u s t r a t i o n reading l e v e l s t i p u l a t e d by the polygraph examiner, the percentages of o r a l errors and comprehension errors were computed" (p. 16). Using t h i s method the authors concluded, among other things, that the 90 percent word recognition c r i t e r i o n was v a l i d i f r e p e t i t i o n s were scored, and that the 50 percent comprehension c r i t e r i o n was adequate. The present study sought to investigate the GSR arousal l e v e l s of ch i l d r e n reading at the mid grade one and above l e v e l , as they read through the graded passages of an IRI. The purposes of th i s study were: 1. To determine the word recognition and comprehension c r i t e r i a f o r the f r u s t r a t i o n a l reading l e v e l as determined by the galvanic skin response (GSR). 2. To compare the c r i t e r i a for the f r u s t r a t i o n a l reading l e v e l as established by Betts and K i l l g a l l o n (1942) to the f r u s t r a t i o n a l reading l e v e l as determined by the GSR. 3. To compare both word recognition and comprehension arousal l e v e l s , as measured by the GSR at the i n s t r u c t i o n a l , p r e - f r u s t r a t i o n a l , and f r u s t r a t i o n a l reading l e v e l s of an IRI. 4. To compare the GSR measured f r u s t r a t i o n a l reading l e v e l s and the per- centages of word recognition and comprehension accuracy at three l e v e l s of reading achievement: below, average, and above average. 5. To compare the mean GSR arousal l e v e l s of boys and g i r l s at the 56 f r u s t r a t i o n a l l e v e l of reading. The sample under study consisted of 60 c h i l d r e n selected from grades 2 and 3 (30 from each grade). Parental consent was required i n order for a c h i l d to be considered for i n c l u s i o n i n t h i s study. The Stanford Achievement Test (1972) was administered to a l l second and t h i r d grade c h i l d r e n i n order to determine the three reading achieve- ment l e v e l s , as shown i n Table II (p. 8). Level II of the Stanford Achievement Test (1972) was administered to the second grade c h i l d r e n , and Level I I I to the t h i r d grade c h i l d r e n . The c h i l d r e n for whom parental consent for i n c l u s i o n i n the study had been obtained were s t r a t i f i e d by grade and reading achievement l e v e l and then subjects were randomly selected for the study by means of a random number table. The c h i l d r e n for each of the three reading achievement l e v e l s for each grade were selected (see Table I I I , p. 9). Each subject was escorted to the t e s t i n g room where the electrodes were attached to the index and r i n g fingers of the nonpreferred hand. Af t e r an attempt to e s t a b l i s h rapport was undertaken, the subject was given the Wide Range Achievement Test-Level 1(1965) and asked to read the words. The c h i l d read u n t i l the galvanic skin response (GSR) had plateaued and habituation had begun. Each subject's reaction was measured on the GSR print-out as the maximum d e f l e c t i o n i n centimeters from the baseline l e v e l , and t h i s used as the subject's c r i t e r i o n arousal l e v e l (CAL). Af t e r the subject had again relaxed, he was given the f i r s t passage of the Diagnostic Reading Scales (1972) to read o r a l l y . Upon completion, the booklet was removed and the comprehension questions asked. The next highest l e v e l was then administered and the same procedure followed u n t i l the GSR indicated that the subject's CAL had been reached. Each subject's 57 o r a l reading and responses were tape recorded to insure accuracy of scoring. Word recognition and comprehension accuracy scores were obtained for the reading passage where the GSR indicated that the subject's CAL had been reached. An average word recognition and comprehension score was computed f o r the t o t a l sample and these scores s t a t i s t i c a l l y compared to the c r i t e r i a set f o r t h by Johnson and Kress (1965). An index of arousal f o r the IRI passages at the i n s t r u c t i o n a l and p r e - f r u s t r a t i o n a l l e v e l s were determined for both the o r a l reading and the comprehension sections. This was obtained by measuring the maximum point of d e f l e c t i o n from the baseline i n centimeters. An average l e v e l of arousal was computed for the t o t a l sample and used i n the comparisons between the i n s t r u c t i o n a l and p r e - f r u s t r a t i o n a l l e v e l s . S t a t i s t i c a l analyses were conducted using a two-way analysis of variance for a repeated measures design using ANOV-23 (1969). Summary of Findings and Conclusions The use of the Wide Range Achievement Test (1965) (WRAT) i n determin- ing each subject's c r i t e r i o n arousal l e v e l proved to be i n e f f e c t u a l . The WRAT did y i e l d a high arousal l e v e l index, however, t h i s l e v e l was never attained by any c h i l d during the reading of the passages i n the Diagnostic Reading Scales (1972), regardless of passage d i f f i c u l t y . Because of t h i s , the f r u s t r a t i o n a l l e v e l of reading had to be determined by using the c r i t e r i a set f o r t h by Johnson and Kress (1965). S t a t i s t i c a l analyses of the arousal l e v e l s at the f r u s t r a t i o n a l l e v e l of reading were nonsignificant f o r comparisons between word recogni- t i o n and comprehension, the three reading achievement l e v e l s , and the boys 58 and the g i r l s . At the i n s t r u c t i o n a l l e v e l of reading, s t a t i s t i c a l analysis of the arousal l e v e l found during the o r a l reading compared to that found during the comprehension section also yielded nonsignificant r e s u l t s . In conclusion, none of the nine n u l l hypotheses was rejected. Implications Some important points can be i n f e r r e d from the r e s u l t s of t h i s study. As the review of the l i t e r a t u r e indicated, few empirical studies i n reading education have been conducted using the galvanic skin response. Of those conducted, the purpose and method of a study by Ekwall and English (1971) bore the most resemblance to the present study. In t h e i r study they were p r i m a r i l y attempting to v a l i d a t e the c r i t e r i a f o r the f r u s t r a - t i o n a l l e v e l of reading by means of the polygraph. Each subject read graded materials while being monitored on a polygraph. Recording units used included breathing u n i t , the galvanic skin response u n i t , and the plethysmograph (pulse rate) u n i t . Ekwall and English (1971) explain that: The polygraph expert, and a neurologist then interpreted each poly- graph test to i n d i c a t e the point of apparent f r u s t r a t i o n as the students progressed through the reading passages. Tracings were graded i n d i v i d u a l l y by comparing the pre-test norm against the magnitude of changes i n amplitude, baseline, rate and r i s e s . At the f r u s t r a t i o n reading l e v e l s t i p u l a t e d by the polygraph examiner, the percentages of o r a l errors and comprehension errors were v computed (p. 16). Ekwall and English (1971) f a i l to report two important f a c t o r s : the model of polygraph used i n t h e i r study, and how the pre-test norm was obtained. The present study, as stated i n Chapter I I I , used a portable poly- graph, and was concerned with only the galvanic skin response unit on the machine. It i s quite possible that Ekwall and English (1971) used a more 59 powerful polygraph which would be more s e n s i t i v e to actual changes i n the responses being measured. Their use of three p h y s i o l o g i c a l responses measured during each subject's reading would possibly give them more information as to when the subject was f r u s t r a t e d , and perhaps one physio- l o g i c a l i n d i c a t i o n of f r u s t r a t i o n was adequate to deem the c h i l d reading at f r u s t r a t i o n a l l e v e l . Ekwall and English (1971) also obtained a pre-set norm to which they compared the subject's p h y s i o l o g i c a l arousal during the reading i n order to determine the subject's f r u s t r a t i o n a l reading l e v e l . No mention was made, however, of how t h i s was established. The present study attempted to obtain a pre-set norm by having each subject read d i f f i c u l t words, a task f e l t to be r e l a t e d to d i f f i c u l t reading. This pre-set norm, however, was never attained during the reading of the passages, regardless of passage d i f f i c u l t y . The lack of f u l l methodological reporting i n the Ekwall and English (1971) study made i t d i f f i c u l t to c r i t i c a l l y assess, and impossible to accurately r e p l i c a t e . The present study f a i l e d to v e r i f y t h e i r f i n d i n g s . Four possible reasons can be forwarded. F i r s t l y , t h e i r polygraph may have been more s e n s i t i v e to actual p h y s i o l o g i c a l changes i n t h e i r subjects. Secondly, the f r u s t r a t i o n a l l e v e l i n t h e i r study was not determined by the galvanic s k i n response alone, but rather, i n conjunction with two other p h y s i o l o g i c a l responses, of which a l l or one may have been necessary i n order to i n d i c a t e the f r u s t r a t i o n a l l e v e l . T h i r d l y , t h e i r pre-set norm may have been a more r e l i a b l e or attainable indica t o r of f r u s t r a t i o n . L a s t l y , mag- nitude of change i n amplitude, baseline, rate and r i s e s were used to measure the p h y s i o l o g i c a l responses, whereas the present study used only the base- l i n e l e v e l and magnitude of change i n amplitude. These possible explanations 60 h i g h l i g h t the importance of accurate reporting of empirical research. The performance c r i t e r i a are the primary means for determining the f r u s t r a t i o n a l l e v e l of reading. Behavioral c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , as mentioned previously, may also be used to aid i n determining t h i s l e v e l . While there i s no empirical v a l i d a t i o n of the r e l i a b i l i t y or accuracy of the commonly reported behavioral c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , the present experimenter did notice a change i n the reading behavior of many subjects as the materials became more d i f f i c u l t . These behaviors sometimes happened p r i o r to the performance c r i t e r i a being met. While these behaviors were not of the i n t e n s i t y described by Ekwall (1976), they were apparent enough to be noticed by an unfamiliar examiner. The informal reading inventory i s b a s i c a l l y intended for the use of classroom teachers, who would be more f a m i l i a r with t h e i r p u p i l s reading and reading behaviors. Classroom teachers may f i n d that the behavioral c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the pupils are a more f e a s i b l e , and perhaps, more accurate way of determining t h i s l e v e l , as opposed to r i g i d adherence to the performance c r i t e r i a . I t may be that teachers should be trained to be aware of the behavioral c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s for the f r u s t r a t i o n a l l e v e l of reading and use them as another clue i n assessing a c h i l d . The present study was not able to o f f e r e m p i r i c a l l y support for the performance c r i t e r i a used to determine the f r u s t r a t i o n a l l e v e l of reading. For reasons discussed e a r l i e r , the r e s u l t s of the study by Ekwall and Eng l i s h (1971) were not r e p l i c a t e d . The lack of s i g n i f i c a n t r e s u l t s i n t h i s study did, however, have an important point to make concerning empirical research. From the data that were obtained i t would appear that the reading of i s o l a t e d word l i s t s generates considerably more arousal i n a reader than does the reading of prose. I t may be that when 61 a c h i l d reads words f o r which he has no meaning referent t h i s becomes f r u s t r a t i n g where upon reading prose where a degree of understanding i s taking place does not produce the same degree of arousal. In i t s own way t h i s study might give support to the emphasis that reading educators place upon meaning as a basis of a l l developmental programmes. Recommendations for Further Study Further research r e s u l t i n g from t h i s study would be: 1. A r e p l i c a t i o n study using a more powerful polygraph, and scoring of the galvanic s k i n response for both frequency and amplitude of response might y i e l d s i g n i f i c a n t r e s u l t s . 2. 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