Open Collections

UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

A comparison of the reversal shift task with two piagetian tasks Lake, Jean Baird 1978

Your browser doesn't seem to have a PDF viewer, please download the PDF to view this item.

Item Metadata

Download

Media
831-UBC_1978_A8 L32.pdf [ 3.58MB ]
Metadata
JSON: 831-1.0103871.json
JSON-LD: 831-1.0103871-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): 831-1.0103871-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: 831-1.0103871-rdf.json
Turtle: 831-1.0103871-turtle.txt
N-Triples: 831-1.0103871-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: 831-1.0103871-source.json
Full Text
831-1.0103871-fulltext.txt
Citation
831-1.0103871.ris

Full Text

A COMPARISON OF THE REVERSAL SHIFT TASK WITH TWO PIAGETIAN TASKS by JEAN BAIRD LAKE B. A., U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia, 1949  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department o f E d u c a t i o n )  We a c c e p t t h i s t h e s i s as conforming to the required  standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA O c t o b e r , 1978 (d)  Jean B a i r d Lake, 1978  In presenting this thesis in partial  fulfilment of the requirements for  an advanced degree at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this  thesis  for scholarly purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by his representatives.  It  is understood that copying or publication  of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission.  Jean B a i r d Lake  Department of E d u c a t i o n The University of B r i t i s h Columbia 2075 Wesbrook P l a c e Vancouver, Canada V 6 T 1W5  Date  October 10,.. 1978  ABSTRACT A study was  undertaken t o compare the performance o f  k i n d e r g a r t e n c h i l d r e n on the o p t i o n a l r e v e r s a l s h i f t t a s k w i t h  their  performance on two P i a g e t i a n t a s k s , the m a t r i x and the two-way  classification  tasks.  The  comparison was  suggested by the f a c t t h a t the r e v e r s a l s h i f t  t a s k has been used by K e n d l e r and K e n d l e r  (1962) t o p r o v i d e e v i d e n c e o f a  c o g n i t i v e change o c c u r r i n g i n c h i l d r e n between 5 and 7 y e a r s of age.  Piaget  (1964) has a l s o suggested a major change i n " c h i l d r e n ' s t h i n k i n g i n the same age range and has used the c l a s s i f i c a t i o n and m a t r i x t a s k s t o illustrate this  change.  Three major t h e o r e t i c a l v i e w s c o n c e r n i n g were examined:  the r e v e r s a l s h i f t t a s k  the m e d i a t i o n a l h y p o t h e s i s o f K e n d l e r and K e n d l e r  (1962),  the a t t e n t i o n t h e o r y v i e w p o i n t o f Zeaman and House (1963) and the p e r c e p t u a l differentiation  view o f T i g h e and T i g h e (1968).  w i t h the c l a s s i f i c a t i o n t a s k s were reviewed. I n h e l d e r and P i a g e t  (1964), K o f s k y  s t u d i e s by I n h e l d e r and P i a g e t  A number o f s t u d i e s d e a l i n g  These i n c l u d e d s t u d i e s by  (1966) and Smedslund (1964).  (1964), Overton and B r o d z i n s k y  Bruner and Kenney (1966) and Odom e t a l . (1965, 1971)  Matrix task  (1972) ,  were a l s o  reviewed.  The P i a g e t i a n and r e v e r s a l s h i f t t a s k s were a n a l y z e d t o t h e i r common f e a t u r e s .  I t was  argued t h a t a l l t h r e e t a s k s r e q u i r e d the  c h i l d t o r e c o g n i z e the a b s t r a c t dimensions o f s t i m u l i the d i m e n s i o n v a l u e s a p p r o p r i a t e l y . i n the t h r e e t a s k s , i t was who  identify  and t o be a b l e t o  Because o f the s i m i l a r i t i e s i n v o l v e d  suggested t h a t a c h i l d i n the t r a n s i t i o n a l  stage  c o u l d p e r f o r m w e l l on the P i a g e t i a n t a s k s would a l s o t e n d t o make a  r e v e r s a l s h i f t on the K e n d l e r  task.  use  I t was  therefore hypothesized  that  f o r c h i l d r e n i n the 5- t o 7-year age range t h e r e s h o u l d be a p o s i t i v e  c o r r e l a t i o n between performance on the c l a s s i f i c a t i o n and m a t r i x t a s k s  and  the tendency t o make a r e v e r s a l s h i f t . An experiment was p e r f o r m i n g the t h r e e t a s k s : c l a s s i f i c a t i o n t a s k and  c a r r i e d out w i t h 34 k i n d e r g a r t e n  subjects  the o p t i o n a l r e v e r s a l s h i f t , the two-way  the m a t r i x t a s k .  Results  o b t a i n e d on each t a s k were  s i m i l a r t o those o f p r e v i o u s s t u d i e s b u t the h y p o t h e s i z e d r e l a t i o n s h i p not u p h e l d .  I t was  suggested t h a t a group of s u b j e c t s  was  including slightly  o l d e r c h i l d r e n might show t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p i n a s i m i l a r e x p e r i m e n t . Other p o s s i b l e e x p l a n a t i o n s f o r the l a c k of r e l a t i o n s h i p were examined including:  t a s k f o r m a t , v e r b a l f a c t o r s , i n c o n s i s t e n t performance by  i n the t r a n s i t i o n p e r i o d , a t t e n t i o n a l and m o t i v a t i o n a l  children  f a c t o r s and d i f f e r e n -  t i a l transfer effects. In conclusion,  i t was  f e l t t h a t the s t u d y r e i n f o r c e d the view t h a t  more knowledge i s needed o f the f a c t o r s i n v o l v e d i n l e a r n i n g  tasks.  I n v e s t i g a t i o n s d r a w i n g on d i f f e r e n t approaches would appear t o be h e l p f u l i n i d e n t i f y i n g these f a c t o r s .  iv  TABLE OF CONTENTS  CHAPTER I  INTRODUCTION  1  Ideas R e g a r d i n g a Developmental Change  1  1.  Stage v s . nonstage t h e o r i e s  1  2.  The K e n d l e r and K e n d l e r d e v e l o p m e n t a l view  2  3.  P i a g e t ' s view o f c o g n i t i v e development  8  The D i s c r i m i n a t i o n S h i f t Task and C o n c e p t u a l L e a r n i n g  .  9  The P i a g e t i a n C l a s s i f i c a t i o n Tasks and C o n c e p t u a l Learning  CHAPTER I I  10  The R e l a t i o n s h i p between t h e Two Approaches  12  LITERATURE REVIEW AND THEORETICAL BACKGROUND  13  Theories Regarding Reversal S h i f t Behavior  14  1.  The m e d i a t i o n a l h y p o t h e s i s  14  2.  A t t e n t i o n theory  16  3.  Perceptual d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n  17  S t u d i e s o f C l a s s i f i c a t i o n and M a t r i x Problems 1.  P i a g e t i a n s t u d i e s o f c l a s s i f i c a t i o n and m a t r i x problems  2.  3.  18  18  N o n - P i a g e t i a n s t u d i e s o f c l a s s i f i c a t i o n and m a t r i x problems  21  V y g o t s k y ' s v i e w s on c l a s s i f i c a t i o n  23  A Comparison o f V i e w p o i n t s Restatement o f t h e Problem  CHAPTER I I I METHODOLOGY  24 .  v  26  28  V  The C h o i c e o f Tasks  28  1.  The m a t r i x t a s k  28  2.  R e l a t i o n s h i p between t h e c l a s s i f i c a t i o n and m a t r i x tasks  29  3.  The c l a s s i f i c a t i o n t a s k . ,  31  4.  The o p t i o n a l s h i f t t a s k  32  5.  R e l a t i o n s h i p between t h e s h i f t t a s k and t h e m a t r i x and c l a s s i f i c a t i o n t a s k s  Experimental  34  Procedures  35  1.  Subjects  35  2.  Material  35  3.  Procedure  39  Hypotheses and D e s i g n  43  CHAPTER IV  RESULTS  44  CHAPTER V  DISCUSSION  48  Explanation of Results  48  1.  Lack o f s u p p o r t f o r h y p o t h e s i s  48  2.  Agreement w i t h p r e v i o u s s t u d i e s  48  3.  Another p o s s i b l e approach  50  D i f f e r e n c e s between t h e K e n d l e r  and P i a g e t i a n Tasks . .  50  1.  Task format  50  2.  V e r b a l requirements  51  P r e v i o u s S t u d i e s Which Found a Lack o f R e l a t i o n s h i p among Tasks  52  1.  Smedslund  52  2.  F l a v e l l and W o h l w i l l  53  vi  3.  K l a h r and W a l l a c e  53  4.  Kofsky  54  5.  Campione and Brown  55  The V a l u e Results  Exploration  Individual  of  the Problem  . . . .  56  Tasks  57  c l a s s i f i c a t i o n task  58  1.  The  2.  The m a t r i x  3.  The  Summary  BIBLIOGRAPHY  of  of Further  task  reversal  shift  59 task  60 60  62  vii  LIST OF TABLES page Table I  Recoding of d a t a f o r c h i - s q u a r e a n a l y s i s  45  Table I I  The c o r r e c t e d c h i - s q u a r e s  45  Table I I I  Frequency t a b l e s f o r the t h r e e t a s k s  46  viii  LIST OF FIGURES page Figure 1  A s i n g l e - u n i t (a) and m e d i a t i o n a l r e v e r s a l and e x t r a d i m e n s i o n a l  (b) S-R  a n a l y s i s of  shifts  Figure 2  I l l u s t r a t i o n o f the o p t i o n a l s h i f t RS-EDS d e s i g n  Figure 3  Example o f s t i m u l u s c a r d f o r the o p t i o n a l r e v e r s a l  3 3 shift  task  37  Figure 4  Examples o f s i z e s and shapes used i n the m a t r i x t a s k . . . .  38  Figure 5  C a r d t y p e s used i n the c l a s s i f i c a t i o n t a s k  40  ix  ACKNOWLEDGEMENT  I would l i k e t o acknowledge w i t h g r a t i t u d e t h e a s s i s t a n c e g i v e n by Dr. P a t r i c i a A r l i n i n t h e p r e p a r a t i o n o f t h i s  thesis.  1  CHAPTER I  T h i s s t u d y was d e s i g n e d  INTRODUCTION  t o compare t h e p e r f o r m a n c e  of kindergarten  c h i l d r e n o n two P i a g e t i a n c l a s s i f i c a t i o n t a s k s w i t h t h e i r p e r f o r m a n c e d i s c r i m i n a t i o n s h i f t t a s k o f t h e type used by K e n d l e r and K e n d l e r 1972) .  T h i s comparison  K e n d l e r s have proposed  t h a t a major developmental  fortheir  change o c c u r s i n young t h e s e t a s k s among o t h e r s  views.  Ideas Regarding  1.  (1969,  was s u g g e s t e d b y t h e f a c t t h a t b o t h P i a g e t a n d t h e  c h i l d r e n ' s c o g n i t i v e p r o c e s s e s and they have used to o b t a i n evidence  on a  a Developmental  Change  Stage v s . Nonstage Theories Many s t u d i e s o f c h i l d r e n ' s c o g n i t i v e d e v e l o p m e n t h a v e f o c u s e d o n  t h e 5- t o 7 - y e a r a g e r a n g e occur  (Brown a n d B e r k o ,  a s a p e r i o d when f u n d a m e n t a l  c h a n g e s seem t o  1960; K e n d l e r and K e n d l e r , 1962, 1963; Kuenne, 1946;  P i a g e t and I n h e l d e r , 1969; R a z r a n ,  1933; Vygotsky,  p a r t i c u l a r l y P i a g e t and t h e Genevan s c h o o l , l i n k  1962).  V a r i o u s n e o b e h a v i o u r i s t s , i n c l u d i n g G o l l i n and Saravo (1962) a n d W h i t e  occur a t c e r t a i n c r i t i c a l  (1971), K e n d l e r and changes  a g e s b u t h a v e r e a c h e d no d e f i n i t e c o n c l u s i o n s  (1969) a n d Zeaman a n d H o u s e  cognitive processes  development.  (1965), have i n f e r r e d t h a t q u a l i t a t i v e  about t h e n a t u r e o f these changes. Gibson  theorists,  these changes t o t h e i d e a  o f m a t u r a t i o n and an i n v a r i a n t sequence o f s t a g e s o f m e n t a l  Kendler  Some  I n c o n t r a s t t o these i s the p o s i t i o n o f (1963) .  are o p e r a t i n g throughout  T h e y b e l i e v e t h a t t h e same ontogenesis.  T h e y do n o t a g r e e  w i t h t h e n o t i o n o f s t a g e s o r sudden changes i n t h e c h i l d ' s mental  abilities.  2  Instead  t h e y see c o g n i t i v e  ability  to discover  2.  change as a g r a d u a l i n c r e a s e i n t h e  new r e l a t i o n s  through h i s perceptual  The K e n d l e r a n d K e n d l e r D e v e l o p m e n t a l Among t h o s e who b e l i e v e  cognitive some o f  ability  in children,  the most e x t e n s i v e  system.  View  that there  i s a developmental s h i f t  K e n d l e r and K e n d l e r  research.  child's  Many o f  (1962,  their  1970) h a v e  investigations  In  t h e s e t a s k s Ss a r e t r a i n e d w i t h s e t s o f  i n a t l e a s t one d i m e n s i o n and a r e t h e n t e s t e d w i t h to s h i f t  t h e i r responses e i t h e r  dimension  (reversal shift)  or  nonreversal or extradimensional s h i f t ) .  s t i m u l i which  the p r e v i o u s l y  irrelevant  findings early  age g r o u p s  Their subjects  and c o l l e g e s t u d e n t s .  they proposed a two-stage  included  them  (a  several school  To e x p l a i n  their  theory of developmental mediation.  The  s t a g e i s e x p l a i n e d by t h e s i n g l e - u n i t model and t h e l a t e r one by  m e d i a t i o n a l m o d e l a s shown i n F i g u r e The  The s u b j e c t example of  s i n g l e - u n i t m o d e l a s shown i n F i g u r e  responds e i t h e r p o s i t i v e l y single-unit  than a black c o r r i d o r  to reach the food reward.  shift In  stimulus.  chooses a white  ,Preverbal children  choice responses.  i s simply a s h i f t  the case of  the  to white or b l a c k .  An  rather are  There i s  the s t i m u l u s values p r e c e d i n g the  1, a reversal  as t h e rewarded r e s p o n s e .  describes  l i n k e d to the  or n e g a t i v e l y  a s s u m e d t o f o l l o w t h e same m o d e l i n t h e i r  A s shown i n F i g u r e  1(a)  r e s p o n d i n g o c c u r s when a r a t  intermediate transformation of  the  1.  l e a r n i n g s i t u a t i o n where the r e s p o n s e i s d i r e c t l y  white  differ  correct  dimension  infrahuman s p e c i e s , p r e s c h o o l c h i l d r e n as young as t h r e e y e a r s , c h i l d r e n of d i f f e r e n t  shift  sets that require  to a second v a l u e of  to a previously  done  have  d e a l t w i t h d i s c r i m i n a t i o n l e a r n i n g u s i n g the r e v e r s a l - n o n r e v e r s a l procedure.  in  no  response.  from b l a c k  an e x t r a d i m e n s i o n a l  to shift,  SINGLE UNIT MODEL REVERSAL SHIFT  EXTRADIMENSIONAL SHIFT  FIGURE 1 A single-unit (a) and mediational (b) S-R analysis of reversal and extradimensional shifts.  TRAINING  OPTIONAL SHIFT  +  • •  •u Black Positive  TEST SERIES  + +  ^  White and Small Positive  +  •• • •  Test Pair (Small vs. While + ~  White and Small Positive  Figure 2. Illustration of the optional shift RS-EDS design. The two settings of training are randomly alternated as are left-right positions of the stimuli. After criterion on the optional shift phase, the two settings of the test series are presented alternately with position variable.  4  the new p o s i t i v e s t i m u l u s would be a v a l u e o f a new shape.  I n the example shown i t i s a " c i r c l e . "  d i m e n s i o n such as  In e i t h e r case, there i s  a s i n g l e l i n k between the s t i m u l u s and response;  t h e r e f o r e , the  theory  s t a t e s t h a t the r e v e r s a l and e x t r a d i m e n s i o n a l s h i f t s s h o u l d be e q u a l i n difficulty. A diagrammatic d e s c r i p t i o n o f the m e d i a t i o n a l model i s shown i n Figure Kb).  I t p r e s e n t s the s i t u a t i o n where the s t i m u l u s evokes a  such as " b r i g h t n e s s . "  The mediated response s e r v e s i n t u r n as the  f o r the c h o i c e responses o f " b l a c k " o r " w h i t e . " c o r r e c t response, remains the same. new  mediator stimulus  F o r a r e v e r s a l s h i f t , the  " b l a c k , " w i l l be r e p l a c e d by " w h i t e " b u t the  mediator  I n the case o f an e x t r a d i m e n s i o n a l s h i f t , however, the  c o r r e c t response would come from another d i m e n s i o n and r e q u i r e a  mediator,  i n t h i s case "shape."  The new mediator  then l e a d s t o a  a s s o c i a t i o n w i t h e i t h e r " c i r c l e " o r " t r i a n g l e " as the c o r r e c t Because t h e r e i s a new  l i n k i n the s t i m u l u s - r e s p o n s e  new  new  response.  c h a i n , i t i s assumed  t h a t the e x t r a d i m e n s i o n a l s h i f t i s more d i f f i c u l t when m e d i a t i o n i s i n v o l v e d .  a.  The  s i n g l e - u n i t and m e d i a t i o n a l models.  With infrahumans  and  young c h i l d r e n , l e a r n i n g i s s a i d t o t a k e p l a c e i n a s i n g l e - u n i t , nonmediational  fashion.  that a reversal s h i f t nonreversal s h i f t  (NRS)  The  s i n g l e - u n i t model g i v e s r i s e t o the p r e d i c t i o n  (RS) w i l l be more d i f f i c u l t t o l e a r n than a ( K e n d l e r , H i r s c h b e r g , and W o l f o r d , 1971).  This i s  because an RS r e q u i r e s the r e p l a c e m e n t o f a response t h a t has p r e v i o u s l y been r e i n f o r c e d w i t h a response t h a t p r e v i o u s l y has been e x t i n g u i s h e d . the NRS,  p r e v i o u s t r a i n i n g has r e i n f o r c e d responses t o the new  and n e g a t i v e s t i m u l i e q u a l l y o f t e n .  positive  Only one o f these a s s o c i a t i o n s must  be e x t i n g u i s h e d and t h e r e f o r e the s h i f t s h o u l d be e a s i e r .  In  5  The  o t h e r model i n c l u d e s a m e d i a t i o n a l l i n k between the e x t e r n a l  s t i m u l u s and the i n t e r n a l r e s p o n s e . or nonverbal  This l i n k i s conceived  r e s p o n s e , u s u a l l y c o v e r t , t o the r e l e v a n t d i m e n s i o n w h i c h  produces cues t h a t l e a d t o the  o v e r t response.  p r e d i c t s a more r a p i d RS than NRS  the f i r s t - l e a r n e d m e d i a t i o n be more d i f f i c u l t .  The m e d i a t i o n a l model  because o f the common m e d i a t i o n a l  d u r i n g b o t h p r e - and p o s t s h i f t t r a i n i n g .  The NRS  link  r e q u i r e s e x t i n c t i o n of  and s u b s t i t u t i o n o f a new  As p r e d i c t e d , c o l l e g e s t u d e n t s  e x e c u t e an RS much f a s t e r than an NRS The  o f as a v e r b a l  one  and thus s h o u l d  and o l d e r c h i l d r e n  (Kendler and K e n d l e r ,  1962).  e s s e n t i a l d i f f e r e n c e between the two models i s t h a t i n the  case o f the s i n g l e - u n i t model the s u b j e c t ' s b e h a v i o u r  i s a response t o  s p e c i f i c a t t r i b u t e s o f the s t i m u l i w h i l e i n the m e d i a t i o n a l model t h e r e i s a c o n c e p t u a l t r a n s f o r m a t i o n o r p r o c e s s i n g o f the s t i m u l u s a t t r i b u t e s as instances of conceptual b.  categories.  The o p t i o n a l s h i f t t a s k .  Although  o f v e r y young c h i l d r e n and o f c o l l e g e s t u d e n t s  the d i s c r i m i n a t i o n l e a r n i n g  seemed t o f i t q u i t e w e l l i n t o  these two models, t h e r e remained the q u e s t i o n o f when and how u n i t t y p e o f l e a r n i n g becomes t r a n s f o r m e d  the  t o the m e d i a t i o n a l t y p e .  K e n d l e r s undertook a number o f s t u d i e s aimed a t throwong l i g h t on o r i g i n s and o p e r a t i o n s o f m e d i a t i o n a l mechanisms. o p t i o n a l s h i f t was  single-  A new  technique  The the of  the  d e v i s e d which a l l o w e d a d i r e c t measure o f performance o f  v a r i o u s age groups so t h a t d e v e l o p m e n t a l comparisons c o u l d be made. The o p t i o n a l s h i f t study i s conducted i n t h r e e phases (see F i g u r e 2).  I n the example i l l u s t r a t e d , the i n i t i a l t r a i n i n g phase p r e s e n t s the •  s u b j e c t s w i t h two p a i r s o f s t i m u l i which d i f f e r i n b o t h s i z e and b r i g h t n e s s . One  a t t r i b u t e o f one d i m e n s i o n i s r e i n f o r c e d , i n t h i s case b l a c k .  One  pair  6  o f t h e o r i g i n a l s t i m u l i i s used i n t h e second phase b u t w h i t e i s now t h e correct choice.  S i n c e i n t h i s phase w h i t e i s a l s o t h e s m a l l s t i m u l u s ,  s u b j e c t s may l e a r n t o respond on t h e b a s i s o f b r i g h t n e s s o r s i z e (a n o n r e v e r s a l  shift).  (a r e v e r s a l s h i f t )  The t h i r d phase t h e n i s a t e s t phase i n  w h i c h t h e p a i r used i n t h e second phase i s a l t e r n a t e d w i t h a d i f f e r e n t p a i r , such as l a r g e w h i t e and s m a l l b l a c k . is reinforced.  With the a d d i t i o n a l p a i r e i t h e r choice  I f t h e s u b j e c t chooses t h e w h i t e s t i m u l u s on a t l e a s t 8 o u t  of 10 o f t h e t e s t t r i a l s he i s c l a s s e d as a r e v e r s a l - s h i f t r e s p o n d e r . i f he chooses t h e s m a l l s t i m u l u s 8 o u t o f 10 t i m e s , he i s c o n s i d e r e d nonreversal  But a  responder.  A l l d i s c r i m i n a t i o n s h i f t procedures i n c l u d i n g the o p t i o n a l - s h i f t technique  have p r o v i d e d  cultural differences.  i n t e r e s t i n g d a t a i n t h e a r e a o f d e v e l o p m e n t a l and Perhaps t h e i r c h i e f v a l u e i s t h a t they can be used  t o study a b a s i c type o f l e a r n i n g t h a t i s found i n a n i m a l s and i n human s u b j e c t s o f a l l ages.  The g e n e r a l method has been d e r i v e d from p r o c e d u r e s  w i d e l y used i n a n i m a l e x p e r i m e n t a t i o n .  M e c h a n i c a l means o f d i s p l a y i n g  s t i m u l i , r e g i s t e r i n g responses and p r o v i d i n g feedback e l i m i n a t e t h e need f o r v e r b a l e x p l a n a t i o n s on t h e p a r t o f t h e e x p e r i m e n t e r o r o f v e r b a l r e s p o n s e s on t h e p a r t o f t h e s u b j e c t .  T h i s f e a t u r e can e l i m i n a t e a v e r y  important  c o n f o u n d i n g f a c t o r i n l e a r n i n g t a s k s , namely, v e r b a l competence  (Braine,  1962) . Another advantage o f t h i s type o f t a s k i s t h a t v e r y elements can be used as s t i m u l i .  simple  As a r e s u l t , t h e same t a s k can be used t o  compare t h e l e a r n i n g o f v e r y young c h i l d r e n w i t h o l d e r c h i l d r e n and o f normal w i t h r e t a r d e d s u b j e c t s .  A t t h e same t i m e , t h e d i s c r i m i n a t i o n s h i f t  t a s k i s a d a p t a b l e t o a wide v a r i e t y o f s t i m u l i such as words and p i c t u r e s  7  and t o s t i m u l i o f v a r y i n g  complexity.  As w i t h many t a s k s used t o study l e a r n i n g and development, i t has been found t h a t t h e r e i s more i n v o l v e d i n s h i f t t a s k s than was o r i g i n a l l y believed.  A number o f f a c t o r s have been suggested as h a v i n g a b e a r i n g on  d i s c r i m i n a t i o n s h i f t performance:  e.g., p e r c e p t u a l p r e t r a i n i n g ( T i g h e ,  1972), o v e r t r a i n i n g (Eimas, 1966), v e r b a l i z a t i o n ( K e n d l e r , 1964; Mumbauer and Odom, 1967), cue dominance ( K e n d l e r , 1974), compound v s . component learning 1976).  (Tighe, 1972), h y p o t h e s i s  testing  (Gholson, O'Connor and S t e r n ,  I n g e n e r a l , t h e r e appears t o be a c o n s i d e r a b l e range o f b o t h  p e r c e p t u a l and c o g n i t i v e f a c t o r s which may be o p e r a t i n g i n a d i s c r i m i n a t i o n s h i f t problem and presumably more o f t h e l a t t e r w i t h o l d e r s u b j e c t s .  But  the more these f a c t o r s can be r e c o g n i z e d and c o n t r o l l e d , t h e more t h e v a l u e t o be found i n t h i s approach. The K e n d l e r s  (1975) have reviewed many s t u d i e s w h i c h a r e i n  g e n e r a l agreement w i t h t h e i r own as w e l l as some w h i c h have o b t a i n e d d i f f e r e n t patterns of results. pointed out methodological  I n t h e s t u d i e s which d i s a g r e e d , they have  v a r i a t i o n s w h i c h may account f o r t h e d i f f e r e n c e .  In many cases they have r e p l i c a t e d t h e i r c r i t i c s ' work t o c o n t r o l t h e v a r i a b l e b e l i e v e d r e s p o n s i b l e f o r t h e d i s p a r i t y and have o b t a i n e d i n k e e p i n g w i t h t h e i r p r e v i o u s work. impressive.  results  The l a r g e body o f accumulated d a t a i s  I t i s strong evidence t h a t the s h i f t d i s c r i m i n a t i o n task i s a  v a l i d and r e l i a b l e t o o l w i t h which t o study human l e a r n i n g . Using the o p t i o n a l - s h i f t technique, Kendler 1970)  and K e n d l e r  (1968,  amassed c o n s i d e r a b l e e v i d e n c e which showed t h a t t h e tendency t o make  a r e v e r s a l s h i f t r a t h e r than an e x t r a d i m e n s i o n a l  s h i f t i n c r e a s e d as a  f u n c t i o n o f age, w i t h an a c c e l e r a t e d change i n t h e 5- t o 7-year age range. T h e i r view o f a d e v e l o p m e n t a l s h i f t o c c u r r i n g i n these y e a r s was  supported  8  by a number o f o t h e r r e s e a r c h e r s , n o t a b l y , C o l e Cole 3.  (1973), T i g h e , G l i c k and  (1971), and T i g h e and T i g h e (1968, 1973). P i a g e t ' s View o f C h i l d r e n ' s C o g n i t i v e Development Meanwhile, P i a g e t and h i s co-workers i n Geneva have f o r m u l a t e d a  more e x t e n s i v e stage t h e o r y encompassing t h e y e a r s from i n f a n c y t o a d o l e s cence o r e a r l y a d u l t h o o d .  Piaget  which c o r r e s p o n d s a p p r o x i m a t e l y  (1964) d e s c r i b e s a p r e o p e r a t i o n a l  stage  t o t h e p e r i o d between 2 and 6 y e a r s .  It  i s d e f i n e d c h i e f l y by t h e absence o f c e r t a i n c o g n i t i v e o p e r a t i o n s such as s e r i a t i o n , c o n s e r v a t i o n , t r a n s i t i v i t y and c l a s s i n c l u s i o n .  I t i s followed  by t h e c o n c r e t e o p e r a t i o n a l stage i n w h i c h t h e c h i l d b e g i n s  to acquire  competence i n these l o g i c a l o p e r a t i o n s .  Between these major s t a g e s  there  i s a t r a n s i t i o n p e r i o d which o c c u r s g e n e r a l l y somewhere between 5 and 7 years.  I n t h e e a r l i e r stage t h e c h i l d i s s a i d t o base h i s d i s c r i m i n a t i o n s  and c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s on p e r c e p t u a l p r o p e r t i e s . without understanding  the underlying p r i n c i p l e .  adequate v e r b a l d e s c r i p t i o n o f h i s b e h a v i o u r problem.  He can p e r f o r m v a r i o u s  tasks  He cannot y e t g i v e an  n o r can he r e c o n s t r u c t t h e  I n h e l d e r and P i a g e t r e f e r t o t h i s as s e n s o r i m o t o r  l e a r n i n g and  say t h a t i t " i n v o l v e s t h e t r a n s f e r o f a p e r c e p t u a l c o n t r a s t on t h e b a s i s o f r e i n f o r c e m e n t by s u c c e s s "  (1964, p. 1 2 3 ) . I n t h e t r a n s i t i o n p e r i o d t h a t  f o l l o w s t h e r e i s a q u a l i t a t i v e change i n t h e way t h e c h i l d p e r c e i v e s , o r a n i z e s and responds t o t h e p h y s i c a l events i n h i s environment.  According  t o P i a g e t t h i s change comes about as a r e s u l t o f a change i n t h e c o g n i t i v e s t r u c t u r e s , o r network o f concepts o f t h e child.... The c o g n i t i v e s t r u c t u r e s d e a l w i t h t h e b a s i c sensory d a t a r e c e i v e d from t h e environment t h r o u g h t h e process  t h a t P i a g e t r e f e r s t o as a s s i m i l a t i o n .  A t t h e same t i m e , t h e  c o g n i t i v e s t r u c t u r e s a r e b e i n g r e o r g a n i z e d t o d e a l w i t h t h e knowledge t h a t  9  i s being a s s i m i l a t e d . The o u t s t a n d i n g change t h a t appears t o occur as t h e c h i l d moves from t h e p r e o p e r a t i o n a l t o t h e c o n c r e t e o p e r a t i o n a l stage i s t h a t t h e can r e p r e s e n t and d e a l w i t h h i s a c t i o n s i n t e r n a l l y . handle i n v e r s e a c t i o n s o r negations l o g i c a l operations.  As a r e s u l t , he i s a b l e t o  and t h e r e b y a c h i e v e r e v e r s i b i l i t y i n  T h i s a b i l i t y a l l o w s t h e c h i l d among o t h e r t h i n g s t o  c o o r d i n a t e two dimensions a t once i n a m u l t i p l e - c l a s s i f i c a t i o n double-entry  matrix  task or a  ( I n h e l d e r and P i a g e t , 1964).  P i a g e t has examined c h i l d r e n ' s performance on a wide range o f t a s k s as e v i d e n c e f o r h i s stage t h e o r y o f c o g n i t i v e development.  I n doing  so he has used an e n t i r e l y d i f f e r e n t method from t h a t o f t h e b e h a v i o u r i s t s , namely, a c l i n i c a l o r a n e c d o t a l approach.  I t i s interesting  i s t h i s agreement between P i a g e t and t h e K e n d l e r s  then t h a t t h e r e  t h a t a t a c e r t a i n age a  fundamental change t a k e s p l a c e i n c h i l d r e n ' s t h i n k i n g and p r o b l e m - s o l v i n g abilities.  The q u e s t i o n a r i s e s as t o whether o r n o t they a r e b o t h b a s i n g  t h e i r developmental hypotheses on t h e same phenomena o b s e r v e d from t h e i r respective viewpoints.  The D i s c r i m i n a t i o n S h i f t Task and C o n c e p t u a l L e a r n i n g Kendler  and K e n d l e r  (1975) have d i s c u s s e d t h e d i s c r i m i n a t i o n  s h i f t t a s k as a method o f s t u d y i n g t h e development o f c o n c e p t u a l  processes.  They p o i n t o u t t h a t i f a s u b j e c t can make a common response t o a s e t o f dissimilar  s t i m u l i , i t has been concluded  t h a t he i s capable o f f o r m i n g  concepts.  B u t Osgood (1953) o b j e c t e d t o t h i s c o n c l u s i o n because he found  i t q u e s t i o n a b l e t h a t a r a t c o u l d u n d e r s t a n d an a b s t r a c t concept l i k e  10  triangularity.  Osgood b e l i e v e d t h a t a t r u e concept was t h e r e s u l t o f a  mediated s y m b o l i c r e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f a s e t o f common f e a t u r e s .  This i s the  view adopted by t h e K e n d l e r s . The  d e v e l o p m e n t a l change t h a t t h e K e n d l e r s  see o c c u r r i n g between  s i n g l e - u n i t and m e d i a t i o n a l f u n c t i o n i n g i s a s h i f t from r e s p o n d i n g t o d i s c r e t e s t i m u l i t o a p r o c e s s i n g o f s t i m u l i as i n s t a n c e s o f c o n c e p t u a l categories. Sigel  I n a d d i t i o n , t h e K e n d l e r s have i n c o r p o r a t e d t h e S a l t z and  (1967) enlargement h y p o t h e s i s  m e d i a t i o n a l model.  o f conceptual  development i n t o t h e i r  They suggest t h a t t h e c l a s s i f i c a t i o n b e h a v i o u r o f young  c h i l d r e n a t t h e s i n g l e - u n i t l e v e l i s g u i d e d by s t i m u l u s g e n e r a l i z a t i o n . As c h i l d r e n d e v e l o p and move t o t h e m e d i a t i o n a l  level, their  symbolic  r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s l e a d them t o make narrow concepts a t f i r s t b u t i n time t h e i r c o n c e p t s become b r o a d e r . To s u p p o r t t h e i r p o s i t i o n t h a t t h e r e i s an ontogeny o f d i s c r i m i n a t i o n s h i f t b e h a v i o u r and t h a t c o n c e p t u a l processes are r e s p o n s i b l e , the Kendlers  (Kendler, Kendler  undertook a s e r i e s o f s t u d i e s u s i n g v e r b a l s t i m u l i . presumably avoided  r a t h e r than p e r c e p t u a l  Verbal  the e f f e c t of s e l e c t i v e a t t e n t i o n .  r e l a t e d words from a common c o n c e p t u a l  category  and S a n d e r s , 1967) stimuli  They found t h a t  are e a s i e r t o reverse  than  u n r e l a t e d words.  The P i a g e t i a n C l a s s i f i c a t i o n Tasks and C o n c e p t u a l Turning  Learning  now t o P i a g e t ' s r e s e a r c h , i t i s p o s s i b l e t h a t c e r t a i n  of h i s c l a s s i f i c a t i o n tasks are probing processing that the Kendlers  t h e same l e v e l o f c o n c e p t u a l  have s t u d i e d by t h e s h i f t paradigm.  Inhelder  11  and P i a g e t  (1959) d e s c r i b e d an o r d e r i n g o f c l a s s i f i c a t i o n t a s k s i n 11 s t e p s ,  o f w h i c h two appear t o be most s i m i l a r i n t h e i r t a s k r e q u i r e m e n t s t o t h e d i s c r i m i n a t i o n s h i f t paradigm.  These two a r e t h e c r o s s - c l a s s i f i c a t i o n  t a s k and t h e m a t r i x i n i t s s i m p l e s t t w o - e n t r y form. the c h i l d t o d e a l w i t h two dimensions a t once.  These t a s k s r e q u i r e  I f , f o r i n s t a n c e , he can  d e a l w i t h a l l o f t h e i n s t a n c e s o f c o l o u r as i n s t a n c e s o f t h e c o n c e p t " c o l o u r " and a l l o f t h e shapes as i n s t a n c e s o f "form," he w i l l t h e o r e t i c a l l y be a b l e t o a c h i e v e c o r r e c t c r o s s - c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s u s i n g categories.  these  The same use o f c o n c e p t u a l dimensions i s r e q u i r e d i n t h e m a t r i x  t a s k , w i t h t h e added d i f f i c u l t y , a c c o r d i n g t o P i a g e t , t h a t t h e two dimensions must be c o n s i d e r e d The  simultaneously.  d i s c r i m i n a t i o n s h i f t t a s k uses t h e same s o r t o f s t i m u l i as  those used i n t h e c l a s s i f i c a t i o n t a s k s .  I n t h e f i r s t phase o f t h e t a s k ,  the s u b j e c t can l e a r n t o p e r f o r m c o r r e c t l y e i t h e r by a p e r c e p t u a l r e s p o n s e t o p a r t i c u l a r i n s t a n c e s o f a c a t e g o r y o r by n o t i n g t h e c o n c e p t u a l which i s rewarded, e.g., c o l o u r .  I n t h e case o f t h e o p t i o n a l s h i f t v e r s i o n  o f t h e t a s k , he w i l l then g i v e a c l e a r i n d i c a t i o n t h a t t h e c o l o u r was used by c h o o s i n g  category  category  t h e o t h e r c o l o u r i n t h e r e v e r s a l phase o f t h e t a s k .  I f he chooses a r e v e r s a l s h i f t , i t can be s a i d t h a t he i s u s i n g t h e same conceptual  c a t e g o r y as a b a s i s f o r h i s c h o i c e t h r o u g h o u t t h e t a s k .  i f t h e s u b j e c t chooses t h e n o n r e v e r s a l o r e x t r a d i m e n s i o n a l  However,  s h i f t , he i s  s w i t c h i n g from one d i m e n s i o n t o a n o t h e r and we cannot be s u r e what method of s o l u t i o n he i s u s i n g .  12  The  R e l a t i o n s h i p between t h e Two Approaches  According to Piaget's  t h e o r y , one o f t h e c r i t e r i a which  define  the change i n t h e c h i l d ' s c o g n i t i v e development from p r e o p e r a t i o n a l concrete operational  t h i n k i n g i s the f i r m understanding of c l a s s  T h i s u n d e r s t a n d i n g i s shown i n t h e a b i l i t y t o s o r t o b j e c t s using  to  properties.  i n t o groups  t h e dimensions c o n s i s t e n t l y and a l s o i n t h e a b i l i t y t o change  dimensions and s o r t t h e o b j e c t s  another way.  The c h i l d who does n o t  u n d e r s t a n d c l a s s i f i c a t i o n w i l l make such m i s t a k e s as f o r m i n g a p i c t u r e o u t o f t h e o b j e c t s , o r changing t h e b a s i s o f t h e g r o u p i n g b e f o r e c o m p l e t i n g t h e c l a s s i f i c a t i o n , o r s o r t i n g a c c o r d i n g t o a l l dimensions s i m u l t a n e o u s l y and i g n o r i n g i n s t r u c t i o n s t o form two p i l e s .  A c h i l d ' s performance on t h e  c l a s s i f i c a t i o n t a s k s h o u l d t e l l us something about h i s s t a g e l e v e l i n t h e 5- t o 8-year age p e r i o d . From t h e K e n d l e r s ' v i e w p o i n t t h e c h i l d ' s r e v e r s a l s h i f t b e h a v i o u r i s a l s o i n d i c a t i v e o f a change t o a m e d i a t i o n a l processing.  and more a b s t r a c t l e v e l o f  I f these h y p o t h e s i z e d d e v e l o p m e n t a l changes have v a l i d i t y , one  would e x p e c t t h a t t h e c h i l d who has a t t a i n e d a c o n c r e t e o p e r a t i o n a l  level  i n terms o f P i a g e t i a n c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s would be l i k e l y t o p r e f e r a r e v e r s a l s h i f t i n an o p t i o n a l d i s c r i m i n a t i o n t a s k .  C o n v e r s e l y , t h e c h i l d who has  reached t h e c o n c e p t u a l l e v e l where he chooses t h e o p t i o n o f a r e v e r s a l  shift  s h o u l d be more l i k e l y t o p e r f o r m w e l l on c r o s s - c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s and m a t r i x tasks. The  problem t h e n t h a t w i l l be i n v e s t i g a t e d i n t h i s study i s  whether o r n o t a r e l a t i o n s h i p can be found between t h e r e v e r s a l performance o f k i n d e r g a r t e n  shift  c h i l d r e n and t h e i r performance on t h e c l a s s i f i -  c a t i o n and m a t r i x t a s k s o f P i a g e t .  13  CHAPTER I I  LITERATURE REVIEW AND THEORETICAL BACKGROUND  This review  of  the l i t e r a t u r e  t h e o r e t i c a l views  regarding  deal with  concerned w i t h  studies  classification is also  then  t h e c l a s s i f i c a t i o n and m a t r i x t a s k s  done  uncovered but new h y p o t h e s e s viewpoints  A short  description  theories  the use of  of Vygotsky's  t a s k s have been used e x t e n s i v e l y  learning processes.  these t a s k s has a l s o s t i m u l a t e d the The  t h r e e most s i g n i f i c a n t  w i l l be r e v i e w e d h e r e .  They a r e :  the a t t e n t i o n  e l a b o r a t e d b y Zeaman a n d H o u s e d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n hypothesis  (1963,  theory viewpoint 1974) a n d o t h e r s ;  and t h e  such as Smedslund  extend  traditional  t o d e v e l o p more s t a n d a r d i z e d v e r s i o n s their  usefulness  learning theorists  for  There have been  of  comparative s t u d i e s .  have used t h e i r  Vygotsky  ideas about c l a s s i f i c a t i o n behaviour.  efforts and  and  t h e same t i m e ,  e x p e r i m e n t a l methods  with  conclusions  1 9 6 6 ; Odom, 1 9 7 8 ; O v e r t o n a n d B r o d z i n s k y ,  The R u s s i a n t h e o r i s t , to  At  go  (1964)  these tasks  P i a g e t i a n t a s k s a n d h a v e i n many c a s e s d i s p u t e d P i a g e t ' s (Bruner and Kenney,  perceptual  (1968).  s i n c e by a d h e r e n t s  thereby  been  c l a s s i f i c a t i o n and m a t r i x p e r f o r m a n c e  the P i a g e t i a n s c h o o l ,  (1972).  (1962) , h a s a l s o c o n t r i b u t e d His  analysis  of  hypothesis  which has  1959.  (1966)  phenomena  theoretical  b a c k t o the I n h e l d e r and P i a g e t a n a l y s i s o f  Kofsky  In  formation  the m e d i a t i o n a l  p r o p o s e d by T i g h e and T i g h e  P i a g e t i a n s t u d i e s of  of  view  by  have been c a l l e d upon t o e x p l a i n the  and t h e o r i e s .  o f K e n d l e r and K e n d l e r ;  It  important  will  i n t h e p a s t two d e c a d e s t o s t u d y  some c a s e s , o l d e r  with three  included.  Discrimination shift nebehaviourists  deal f i r s t  discrimination s h i f t behaviour.  by P i a g e t i a n s and n o h - P i a g e t i a n s . of  will  suggests  areas  much of  14  agreement w i t h the P i a g e t i a n c o n s t r u c t i v i s t mediational  The M e d i a t i o n a l  Regarding Reversal S h i f t  (1956), K e l l e h e r  between age g r o u p s  response  But i f  reinforcement  Spence  (1956)  organisms.  The  (1946)  learning  faster  Buss  (1956)  (or  during  that problem  f o r m u l a t e d by K e n d l e r  and K e n d l e r  reversal over nonreversal  shifts  nonreversal) to  to account f o r  s c h o o l c h i l d r e n and  The m e d i a t i o n a l S - R h y p o t h e s i s  says t h a t  age.  Children of  s o l v e d i s c r i m i n a t i o n problems by u s i n g  "a s i n g l e - u n i t  a  shift.  nonarticulate was  the s u p e r i o r i t y  of  adults.  the tendency  discrimination learning increases with  not  learned  d i s c r i m i n a t i o n s h i f t behaviour  (1962) for  theory  children but  students  the  solution  continuity  h i m s e l f agreed t h a t h i s model a p p l i e d o n l y  The m e d i a t i o n a l m o d e l o f  continuous,  were r e v e r s e d  college  t h a n an e x t r a d i m e n s i o n a l  theory.  correct  "preverbal"  found that  been  continuity  showed t h a t  and  behaviour  t o make t h a t  theory would p r e d i c t  the d i s c r i m i n a t i o n l e a r n i n g of  "verbal" children.  (1936)  contingencies  However, Kuenne  shift  Kendler  in discrimination shift  i n c r e a s e d the tendency  w o u l d be r e t a r d e d .  reversal  Buss  l e a r n i n g i n a m u l t i t r i a l s i t u a t i o n was  continuity  of  e.g.,  (1955), Kendler,  terms by S p e n c e ' s  presolution period,  could predict  and s i x t i e s ,  a n i m a l s p e c i e s and y o u n g c h i l d r e n h a d a l r e a d y  T h i s t h e o r y assumed t h a t  choice again.  and D'Amato  the d i f f e r e n c e s  in behaviourist  t h a t each c o r r e c t  Behaviour  and b e t w e e n a d u l t humans a n d a n i m a l s .  of various  accounted f o r  i n the f i f t i e s  (1956), Kendler  (1960), revealed  behaviour  Kendlers'  Hypothesis  Numerous e x p e r i m e n t s  Wells  and w i t h t h e  view.  Theories  1.  view  to  mediate  nursery school  mechanism i n  which  age  15  responses are under d i r e c t s u b j e c t s make u s e o f  c o n t r o l of e x t e r n a l  stimulation" while  " a m e d i a t i o n a l mechanism i n w h i c h b e h a v i o u r  c o n t r o l l e d by s e l f - g e n e r a t e d s y m b o l i c cues t h a t r e p r e s e n t categories"  older  (Kendler,  K e n d l e r and W a r d , 1 9 7 2 , p .  The n a t u r e o f  is  conceptual  102).  t h e m e d i a t i o n a l p r o c e s s was l e f t  open-ended but  K e n d l e r s have s u g g e s t e d t h a t a s e t o f d i f f e r e n t mechanisms might be all  of  them t r a n s f o r m i n g i n c o m i n g s t i m u l i i n v a r i o u s The K e n d l e r s d o n o t s a y w h e t h e r  Their  s t u d i e s , however,  American c h i l d there starting  Evidence  for  (Kendler,  c h i l d r e n 5 . 8 t o 19 y e a r s  Kendler  (Kendler  K e n d l e r and K e n d l e r  for  the o p t i o n a l r e v e r s a l  shift  the  responding  1962) a n d t h e  second  r e s p o n s e t o a l l members o f  is  t h e o t h e r member o f  the only In  and K e n d l e r varying  feasible their  in brightness  with  s h o u l d be t h e m o s t l i k e l y r e s p o n s e  the h i e r a r c h y  (Hull,  1943).  is reinforced.  the h i e r a r c h y ,  The  due  probability positive  When r e i n f o r c e m e n t  the p r e v i o u s l y  negative  stimulus,  alternative.  first  (Kendler,  3.6  argued t h a t where s y m b o l i c m e d i a t i o n  stimulus gains i n strength because i t ceases,  was  1971).  to the arousal of the h a b i t family h i e r a r c h which increases the of  average  the f i r s t w i t h c h i l d r e n  and K e n d l e r ,  (1968)  specify  t h i s developmental progression  and L e a r n a r d ,  a  to mediational  i s an a c c e l e r a t e d i n c r e a s e i n r e v e r s a l  in kindergarten.  10.4 years  occurs,  They a l s o do n o t  have i n d i c a t e d t h a t  obtained i n studies using geometric s t i m u l i , to  ways.  age when t h e c h i l d moves f r o m s i n g l e - u n i t  functioning.  involved,  t h e age t r e n d o c c u r s b e c a u s e o f  change i n c a p a c i t y o r as a m a t t e r o f p r e f e r e n c e . a particular  the  developmental study w i t h t h i s  K e n d l e r and L e a r n a r d , and s i z e .  technique  1962) u s e d g e o m e t r i c  They found t h a t t h e p r o p o r t i o n  Kendler patterns of  optional  16  RS  increased  s i g n i f i c a n t l y from 3.6  study (Kendler and K e n d l e r , 1971) c o l o u r - f o r m , c o l o u r - s i z e , and for  each compound and  t o 10.4  y e a r s o f age.  the s t i m u l u s  size-form.  I n a second  compounds used were  R e s u l t s were e s s e n t i a l l y s i m i l a r  the combined d a t a were s i m i l a r t o the f i r s t  A d d i t i o n a l d a t a i n a subsequent study (Kendler and Ward, 1972) mathematical r e l a t i o n s h i p :  years).  o f age  c o n t i n u i t y model o f d i s c r i m i n a t i o n l e a r n i n g may y e a r s b u t w i t h i n c r e a s i n g age  2.  (between 3.6  T h i s f i n d i n g gave s u p p o r t f o r the view t h a t the  c h i l d ' s performance w i l l  indicated a  t h a t the p r o b a b i l i t y o f an o p t i o n a l  s h i f t i s a l i n e a r f u n c t i o n o f the l o g a r i t h m  study.  reversal and  19.8  single-unit  be v a l i d f o r the v e r y e a r l y  t h e r e i s an i n c r e a s i n g l i k e l i h o o d t h a t  f i t the m e d i a t i o n a l  model.  A t t e n t i o n Theory A d i f f e r e n t view of d i s c r i m i n a t i o n l e a r n i n g has been put  by  the  the a t t e n t i o n t h e o r i s t s , e.g.,  Trabasso and Bower (1968) and  M a c K i n t o s h (1965), S u t h e r l a n d  Zeaman and  House (1963).  (1959),  These t h e o r i s t s  generally  agree t h a t l e a r n i n g i s l a r g e l y a m a t t e r of a t t e n t i o n t o  stimuli.  They a l s o agree t h a t a t t e n t i o n i s t r a i n a b l e and  be t a u g h t t o a t t e n d  forward  relevant  that children  can  t o r e l e v a n t cues i n o r d e r t o p e r f o r m more e f f i c i e n t l y  on d i s c r i m i n a t i o n o r c o n c e p t u a l  tasks.  S p e c i f i c c r i t i c i s m s o f the K e n d l e r t h e o r y have been made by Zeaman and  House (1963) who  f o r m u l a t e d the m e d i a t i o n a l  attention theory.  One  p r i m a r y assumption of t h e i r model was  two  components, the f i r s t a t t e n t i o n a l , the second an i n s t r u m e n t a l  response.  In t h e i r study w i t h r e t a r d a t e s  i n speed o f l e a r n i n g were due attend  that discrimination learning  choice  they hypothesized t h a t v a r i a t i o n s  to d i f f e r e n c e s  t o the r e l e v a n t d i m e n s i o n and  has  i n the r a t e o f l e a r n i n g  not t o d i f f e r e n c e s  i n the r a t e  to of  17  l e a r n i n g a s s o c i a t i o n s between the r e l e v a n t reaction.  cues and t h e c o r r e c t  T h i s h y p o t h e s i s was s u p p o r t e d b y a number o f  compared i n t r a d i m e n s i o n a l w i t h  extradimensional shifts  a n d Z e a m a n , 1 9 6 5 ; D i c k e r s o n , 1 9 6 6 ; Mumbauer a n d Odom,  choice  studies  which  (Campione,  Hyman  1966).  The m e d i a t i o n a l a t t e n t i o n t h e o r y a s s u m e d t h a t a t t e n t i o n were  independent of development  t h a t h i s r e s u l t s were ontogeny  of  initial  discrimination. for  d e v e l o p m e n t a l changes  Perceptual  has been d e r i v e d  concluded exists  H i s m e t h o d o l o g y was c r i t i c i z e d b y  Their r e p l i c a t i o n of h i s slow l e a r n e r s p r o v i d e d  (Kendler,  s u b j e c t s who f a i l e d study without  strong evidence  K e n d l e r and Ward,  school of  the  from G i b s o n ' s  ability  special  1972).  (1950,  1959) p e r c e p t u a l t h e o r y .  to d i f f e r e n t i a t e the r e l e v a n t  T h i s v i e w was s u p p o r t e d b y  behaviour  Tighe  found to f a c i l i t a t e a r e v e r s a l S t u d i e s by Johnson and White ability  shift  (1967)  said  to execute a r e v e r s a l  the r e l e v a n t  (McConnell,  and  dimension from  studies i n which d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n  emphasizing the p e r c e p t u a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of  shift.  training d i m e n s i o n was  1964; T i g h e ,  a l s o showed a c o r r e l a t i o n  to d i f f e r e n t i a t e stimulus values  the  1965). between  and t h e i r  tendency  to  The p e r c e p t u a l d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n f o r m u l a t i o n s u p p o r t s  the view  that  choose a r e v e r s a l  is  the  for  thought regarding d i s c r i m i n a t i o n s h i f t  t o t a l p e r c e p t u a l f i e l d would a f f e c t h i s a b i l i t y  children's  an  the  (1968) p r o p o s e d a p e r c e p t u a l d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n h y p o t h e s i s w h i c h  that a subject's  there  (1970)  Differentiation  Another  Tighe  Campione  included special training for  t r a i n i n g procedures  3.  1967).  " i n c o n s i s t e n t w i t h the notion that there  shift behaviour."  Kendlers because i t  (Eimas,  processes  shift.  an o n t o g e n y  of d i s c r i m i n a t i o n s h i f t behaviour.  It  assumes  that  18  there  are d e v e l o p m e n t a l changes i n a b i l i t y  stimulus arrays.  A s c h i l d r e n grow o l d e r  c a p a c i t y t o i s o l a t e and use the r e l e v a n t and as a r e s u l t  and K e n d l e r  d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n view  as b a s i c a l l y  dimension i n d i s c r i m i n a t i o n  i s not s u f f i c i e n t .  In  own m o d e l .  is  verbal  a study  (Kendler,  1.  guarantee  training with  a cognitive  shifts  g r o u p was s u p e r i o r . operator  t h a t any m e d i a t i o n w i l l  for  q u e s t i o n a d d r e s s e d i s how c h i l d r e n groups  t a s k s h a v e b e e n one a p p r o a c h t o conceptual thinking.  come t o r e c o g n i z e  that  approach t o t h i s problem.  s t u d i e d i n d e p t h by P i a g e t and o t h e r s  shift. by  using his  techniques  the  The  t h e same  d e p e n d i n g upon w h i c h a t t r i b u t e s  C l a s s i f i c a t i o n tasks are another  the  occur.  Problems  in their  a  t h i s p r o c e s s b u t does n o t  P i a g e t i a n S t u d i e s o f C l a s s i f i c a t i o n and M a t r i x  p r o b l e m o f how c h i l d r e n p r o g r e s s  cue-training  They argue t h a t  Problems  The d i s c r i m i n a t i o n s h i f t  but  with  compared t o  S t u d i e s o f C l a s s i f i c a t i o n and M a t r i x  can b e l o n g t o d i f f e r e n t  responses  behaviour."  to mediate the r e v e r s a l  P e r c e p t u a l d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n may b e r e q u i r e d itself  perceptual  G l a s m a n a n d W a r d , 1972)  improved r e v e r s a l  the v e r b a l - l a b e l  label provides  There  p e r c e p t u a l d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n may be n e c e s s a r y  they found t h a t both procedures group but  "whether  of d i s c r i m i n a t i o n s h i f t  p r e s c h o o l c h i l d r e n w h i c h compared v e r b a l - l a b e l  control  shifts.  i n agreement w i t h t h e i r  to e x p l a i n the ontogeny  They f e e l t h a t a p p r o p r i a t e  problems  perceptual  and t h a t  of  increasing  appear to accept the  one i s s u e o n w h i c h t h e y d i s a g r e e  are s u f f i c i e n t  it  (1975)  attributes  t h e y a r e s a i d t o have an  a r e more l i k e l y t o make r e v e r s a l  Kendler  is  to d i f f e r e n t i a t e  are  specific object relevant.  They have (Inhelder  been and  19  P i a g e t , 1959;  K o f s k y , 1966;  P i a g e t regards  Smedslund, 1964).  c l a s s i f i c a t i o n problems as i n t i m a t e l y r e l a t e d t o  problems o f i n f e r e n c e i n g e n e r a l because c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s depend upon "the a b s t r a c t i o n o f unambiguous c r i t e r i a , " d e f i n e the c l a s s .  i . e . , the p a r t i c u l a r a t t r i b u t e s t h a t  He b e l i e v e s t h a t c h i l d r e n a r r i v e a t t h e i r  understanding  o f c l a s s i f i c a t i o n by t h e a c t i o n s they c a r r y out w i t h a c t u a l o b j e c t s o r by " v i r t u a l a c t i o n s " performed " i n the c h i l d ' s head" ( I n h e l d e r and  Piaget,  1964). I n h e l d e r and P i a g e t  (1959) h y p o t h e s i z e d  a b i l i t y d e v e l o p s i n a sequence o f 11 s t e p s .  that c l a s s i f i c a t i o n  They e x p l a i n e d t h a t c h i l d r e n  b e g i n t o c l a s s i f y by p u t t i n g t o g e t h e r two o b j e c t s t h a t l o o k a l i k e i n some way.  I n o t h e r words, they s i m p l y use the p e r c e p t u a l f e a t u r e s .  The  s t e p i s c o n s i s t e n t s o r t i n g and e x t e n d i n g  the group beyond two  T h i s i s f o l l o w e d by e x h a u s t i v e s o r t i n g .  These s i m p l e r s k i l l s a r e  next  objects. the  f o u n d a t i o n f o r f u r t h e r s t e p s w h i c h r e p r e s e n t a c o n s i d e r a b l e advance i n ability.  I n o r d e r t o d e a l w i t h m u l t i p l e c l a s s membership the c h i l d must  r e c o g n i z e t h a t o b j e c t s may  belong  t o more than one c a t e g o r y .  When he  can  use f i r s t one and t h e n a n o t h e r a t t r i b u t e as the b a s i s f o r g r o u p i n g , he i s able to handle " h o r i z o n t a l c l a s s i f i c a t i o n . "  The  f i n a l s t e p s are  a c q u i s i t i o n o f h e i r a r c h i c a l c l a s s i f i c a t i o n and c l a s s i n c l u s i o n  the  abilities.  P r o g r e s s up these s t e p s extends o v e r the c h i l d h o o d y e a r s s t a r t i n g i n the p r e o p e r a t i o n a l p e r i o d and c o n t i n u i n g through the c o n c r e t e o p e r a t i o n a l s t a g e . Kofsky  (1966) undertook t o t e s t P i a g e t ' s t h e o r y t h a t t h e r e i s a  f i x e d o r d e r i n which c l a s s i f i c a t o r y concepts are a c q u i r e d .  She t r a n s l a t e d  the 11 s t e p s i n t o t a s k s which used g e o m e t r i c b l o c k s o f 3 shapes and colours.  Her s u b j e c t s were 4-9  years o l d .  She  confirmed  the o r d e r o f d i f f i c u l t y o f the s t e p s .  4  found t h a t h e r r e s u l t s However, t h e r e was  no  set  20  o r d e r o f mastery o f t a s k s such t h a t f a i l u r e on one t a s k was f o l l o w e d by f a i l u r e on a l l o f t h e more d i f f i c u l t ones.  The s u b j e c t s who f a i l e d t h e  h o r i z o n t a l r e c l a s s i f i c a t i o n t e s t (which c a l l e d f o r s o r t i n g o b j e c t s i n d i f f e r e n t ways a c c o r d i n g t o d i f f e r e n t a t t r i b u t e s ) d i d so because they  could  not form c o n s i s t e n t c l a s s e s o r because they c o u l d n o t e x e c u t e t h e r u l e s p e c i f i c t o the task.  The younger c h i l d r e n who f a i l e d were n o t always t h e  inconsistent sorters.  Younger s u b j e c t s were b e t t e r than p r e d i c t e d i n  f o r m i n g more than one t a s k a t a t i m e .  Kofsky's  r e s u l t s d i d not d i s c o n f i r m  P i a g e t ' s broad o u t l i n e o f c l a s s i f i c a t i o n development b u t d i d q u e s t i o n i t i n s p e c i f i c s because i n many i n d i v i d u a l cases t h e p r e d i c t e d sequence was n o t obtained. Two experiments by K o f s k y and O s i e r  (1967) d e a l t s p e c i f i c a l l y  w i t h q u e s t i o n s a r i s i n g o u t o f t h e h o r i z o n t a l r e c l a s s i f i c a t i o n problem: when do c h i l d r e n a c q u i r e t h e a b i l i t y t o d e a l w i t h two dimensions a t a t i m e and what p a r t i c u l a r f e a t u r e s cause d i f f i c u l t y ?  T h e i r s u b j e c t s were t h r e e  groups o f c h i l d r e n , aged 5, 8, and 11. Three s e t s o f g e o m e t r i c s t i m u l i were employed.  The s e t s d i f f e r e d i n number o f d i m e n s i o n s , number o f v a l u e s  o f form and c o l o u r and a l s o i n number o f s t i m u l i . t o s o r t t h e s t i m u l i and d e s c r i b e t h e groups formed. t o do i t a n o t h e r way.  The c h i l d r e n were asked Then they were asked  A s o r t was c o n s i d e r e d adequate i f i t was  c o n s i s t e n t and e x h a u s t i v e .  The e x p e r i m e n t e r s  completely  r e p o r t e d t h a t a l l t h r e e age  groups were a b l e t o s o r t s e t s i n t o l o g i c a l groups b u t t h e 5 - y e a r - o l d c h i l d r e n made f a r fewer adequate s o r t s and e x p e r i e n c e d d i f f i c u l t y i n shifting c r i t e r i a for sorting.  considerable  F o r a l l age groups t h e  s t r u c t u r e and s i z e o f t h e s e t a f f e c t e d t h e type o f e r r o r s made.  A l l subjects  were a f f e c t e d by a t t r i b u t e p r e f e r e n c e b u t t h e younger c h i l d r e n t o a g r e a t e r degree.  21  K o f s k y and O s i e r had u n d e r t a k e n t h e i r study i n o r d e r t o l o c a t e sources o f d i f f i c u l t y i n c o n c e p t a t t a i n m e n t problems.  They had  hypothesized  t h a t c h i l d r e n ' s d i f f i c u l t i e s might be due t o i n a b i l i t y t o form l o g i c a l classes or to s h i f t c r i t e r i a .  They concluded  t h a t 5-year-olds  can s o r t  c o n s i s t e n t l y b u t t h e i r c h i e f d i f f i c u l t y i s i n changing c r i t e r i a . I n one study u s i n g the m a t r i x t a s k I n h e l d e r and P i a g e t  (1964)  found t h a t the youngest group (4-5-^year-olds) performed b e t t e r than m i d d l e group ( 6 - 7 - y e a r - o l d s ) .  I n h e l d e r and P i a g e t suggested  the  t h a t the younger  s u b j e c t s were u s i n g a p e r c e p t u a l s o l u t i o n r a t h e r than a l o g i c a l one. t h e i r words, "One  In  ( s o l u t i o n ) i s f i g u r a l and based on p e r c e p t u a l symmetries,  the o t h e r i s o p e r a t i o n a l , i t r e s t s on a double c l a s s i f i c a t i o n and draws on genuine i n f e r e n c e s . "  They d e c l a r e t h a t the o n l y way  t o determine which  method the c h i l d i s u s i n g t o s o l v e the m a t r i x i s t o ask him f o r a v e r b a l explanation of h i s choice.  A f u r t h e r check a g a i n s t p e r c e p t u a l s o l u t i o n s  and g u e s s i n g i s t o ask the c h i l d i f any o t h e r s o l u t i o n i s p o s s i b l e . i s w i l l i n g to change a c o r r e c t s o l u t i o n , i t suggests about the r e q u i r e m e n t s  o f the t a s k .  t h a t he i s not  I f he clear  I n h e l d e r and P i a g e t t h e r e f o r e d i d not  c r e d i t the c h i l d w i t h a c o r r e c t s o l u t i o n o f the m a t r i x u n t i l he had made three responses:  (1) f i n d i n g the c o r r e c t i t e m , (2) j u s t i f y i n g t h i s c h o i c e ,  (3) s t a t i n g whether one o r two o f the o t h e r items might f i t as w e l l o r b e t t e r . 2.  Non-Piagetian  S t u d i e s o f C l a s s i f i c a t i o n and M a t r i x Problems  O v e r t o n and B r o d z i n s k y  (1972) s p e c i f i c a l l y t e s t e d t h e  hypothesis  t h a t some c h i l d r e n use a p e r c e p t u a l s o l u t i o n t o the m a t r i x problem.  They  compared r e s u l t s u s i n g a s t a n d a r d square m a t r i x and a l i n e a r arrangement o f the f o u r c e l l s . concluded  They found no e v i d e n c e t o s u p p o r t the h y p o t h e s i s .  t h a t a t b o t h the 4-5-  They  and 6-7-year l e v e l s p e r c e p t u a l f a c t o r s do  22  not f a c i l i t a t e and p o s s i b l y h i n d e r s u c c e s s f u l performance.  They a l s o found  t h a t t h e 6-7-year-olds performed b e t t e r when t h e l i n e a r arrangement o f t h e s t i m u l i was used and when i n s t r u c t i o n s emphasized t h e r u l e r e l a t i n g t h e s t i m u l u s dimensions used i n the problem. B r u n e r and Kenney (1966) d e s c r i b e d some i n v e s t i g a t i o n s o f m u l t i p l e c l a s s i f i c a t i o n u s i n g the m a t r i x t a s k w i t h c h i l d r e n 3-7 y e a r s o l d .  Their  p r o c e d u r e c a l l e d f o r a 3><3 m a t r i x and 9 c y l i n d e r s v a r y i n g i n h e i g h t and diameter.  I n t h e l i g h t o f more r e c e n t s t u d i e s t h i s t a s k seems u n n e c e s s a r i l y  complex f o r s m a l l c h i l d r e n .  To t h e e x t e n t t h a t young c h i l d r e n c o u l d p e r f o r m  the o p e r a t i o n s c a l l e d f o r , i t appeared t h a t they were g u i d e d by t h e p e r c e p t u a l a s p e c t s o f t h e t a s k and by a s i n g l e f e a t u r e a t a t i m e .  When  r e p r o d u c t i o n o f the m a t r i x was c a l l e d f o r , t h e younger c h i l d r e n seemed t o remember t h e d i s p l a y as an image.  The o l d e r ones appeared t o t r a n s l a t e t h e  image i n t o a v e r b a l e n c o d i n g and a s e t o f v e r b a l r u l e s f o r t r a n s f o r m a t i o n s . E a r l i e r i t was p o i n t e d o u t t h a t a p e r c e p t u a l  differentiation  h y p o t h e s i s had been proposed t o account f o r d i s c r i m i n a t i o n s h i f t (Tighe and T i g h e , 1968).  behaviour  A s i m i l a r e x p l a n a t i o n has been advanced by Odom  (1978) f o r d e v e l o p m e n t a l change and d e c a l a g e r e l a t i o n s on P i a g e t i a n t a s k s . Odom has extended Gibson's (1969) i d e a s on p e r c e p t i o n by p r o p o s i n g t h a t p e r c e p t u a l s e n s i t i v i t y i n c r e a s e s as a r e s u l t o f p e r c e p t u a l  experience.  F u r t h e r m o r e , i f t h e organism i s s e n s i t i v e t o c e r t a i n i n f o r m a t i o n then t h a t i n f o r m a t i o n has a h i g h e r p r o b a b i l i t y o f b e i n g c o g n i t i v e l y e v a l u a t e d f o r problem s o l u t i o n .  I n o r d e r t o t e s t h i s i d e a s , Odom m a n i p u l a t e d t h e  p e r c e p t u a l s a l i e n c e o f t h e s t i m u l u s dimensions o f a m a t r i x t a s k and Cunningham, 1965).  (Odom, A s t o r ,  He r e p o r t e d t h a t when "the s o l u t i o n - r e l e v a n t  i n f o r m a t i o n was h i g h l y s a l i e n t f o r young c h i l d r e n , t h e i r performance can r e f l e c t a l e v e l of cognitive processing that i s often a t t r i b u t e d only t o  23  o l d e r c h i l d r e n and a d u l t s . "  On t h e o t h e r hand, when t h e i r r e l e v a n t  i n f o r m a t i o n i s h i g h l y s a l i e n t , performance a c c u r a c y i s low compared t o o l d e r s u b j e c t s (Odom and Mumbauer, 1971).  3.  V y g o t s k y ' s Views on C l a s s i f i c a t i o n A major t h e o r i s t i n t h e developmental f i e l d who has w r i t t e n  the r o l e o f c l a s s i f i c a t i o n i n c o n c e p t u a l l e a r n i n g i s V y g o t s k y  about  (1962). H i s  d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e changes i n t h e c h i l d ' s c l a s s i f i c a t i o n b e h a v i o u r i s r a t h e r s i m i l a r t o P i a g e t ' s e x c e p t t h a t i n t h e t r a n s i t i o n p e r i o d he sees t h e c h i l d p r o c e e d i n g from g r a p h i c p e r c e p t i o n t o t h e s t a g e o f concept f o r m a t i o n . He says t h a t t h e c h i l d notes c e r t a i n a t t r i b u t e s o f o b j e c t s and c a t e g o r i z e s them by r e l a t i n g them t o a b s t r a c t c o n c e p t s .  He s t r e s s e s t h e use o f words  t o e x p r e s s a b s t r a c t i o n s and t h e e f f e c t o f s c h o o l i n g i n a r r i v i n g a t t h i s level.  D e s c r i b i n g Vygotsky's views, L u r i a  (1976, p. 52) s a y s , " a t t h e c o r e  of c o n c e p t u a l c a t e g o r i c a l t h i n k i n g i s t h e s h a r e d e x p e r i e n c e o f s o c i e t y conveyed t h r o u g h i t s l i n g u i s t i c system."  Vygotsky b e l i e v e d t h a t the  development o f complex c l a s s i f i c a t o r y a b i l i t y and c o n c e p t u a l t h i n k i n g was dependent on t h e i n d i v i d u a l ' s a c t i v i t i e s .  S c h o o l i n g produces  c o n c e p t s , " t h e s o r t t h a t we use i n p s y c h o l o g i c a l s t u d i e s .  "academic  In certain  s o c i e t i e s , such as p r i m i t i v e nomads and h u n t e r s , t h e s e concepts a r e n o t useful.  The t y p e o f concepts t h e s e p e o p l e use r e f l e c t t h e r e a l i t i e s o f  their daily lives.  V y g o t s k y ' s i n s i s t e n c e on t h e c e n t r a l r o l e o f language  i n c o n c e p t u a l p r o c e s s e s appears t o agree w i t h t h e K e n d l e r and K e n d l e r p o s i t i o n on t h e f u n c t i o n o f m e d i a t i o n .  24  A Comparison of  The K e n d l e r s , technique,  through  have c o n c l u d e d t h a t  investigations there  is  cognitive  development  deal with  complex s t i m u l u s s i t u a t i o n s .  i n which there  d e f i n e d b u t may i n c l u d e w o r d s , The  explanation of  Viewpoints  a transition period  the ideas of  this  The  symbols o r  model except  attention  theory view  involved  in tasks.  successfully attention of  their  It  dimensions  feel that  theorists.  of  by t h e a t t e n t i o n  issue.  Followers  development  that  The K e n d l e r s h a v e p r e s e n t e d  Most  is  of  position that  It  the p e r c e p t u a l  to d i f f e r e n t i a t e  Kendlers  (1975)  assumes t h a t t h e r e  have suggested  that  agree w i t h the d u a l - s t a g e model.  differentiating  (black  a dimension  is  studies  have  f o r w a r d by evidence  the  in  of  (1968)  discrimina-  are d e v e l o p m e n t a l changes  instance,  (brightness,  (black,  Only l a t e r form)  in  in stimulus arrays.  The to  t h e young c h i l d i n the  t h e components  square).  favour  unsettled.  an ontogeny  attributes  of  dimensions  t h i s model c o u l d be r e f o r m u l a t e d  For  s t a g e may b e a b l e t o d i f f e r e n t i a t e s i n g l e s t i m u l u s compound  there  the  simply a matter  their  further  issue remains  tion s h i f t behaviour. ability  of  the  The p e r c e p t u a l d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n m o d e l o f T i g h e a n d T i g h e 1  of  do n o t a p p e a r t o b e a t o d d s w i t h  some c r i t i c i s m s t h a t h a v e b e e n p u t  agrees w i t h the K e n d l e r s  not  theorists  to solve problems.  (1975) b e l i e v e  this  to  the mediation i s  t o a t t e n d t o and use the r e l e v a n t  developmental views but  child's  images.  i n order  cognitive  The K e n d l e r s  countered  i n the  emphasizes the importance  on t h e o n t o g e n e t i c  acquiring increasing ability  nature  s h i f t behaviour  group o f r e s e a r c h e r s  Kendlers'  shift  i s an i n c r e a s i n g use o f m e d i a t i o n  h a s o f f e r e d some a d d i t i o n a l i n s i g h t s . attending to the relevant  u s i n g the r e v e r s a l  square)  i s he c a p a b l e  from p a i r s  of  early  from a of  stimulus  25  compounds  (black square, white c i r c l e ) .  p e r c e p t i o n then,  t h i s model resembles the d u a l - s t a g e  T u r n i n g now behaviour,  Except f o r i t s emphasis  to Piaget's  c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n of  he d e s c r i b e s the problem as one  attributes that define a class.  problems.  (Kendler,  1971).  classification  of i d e n t i f y i n g the  particular  P i a g e t does not appear t o have been  concerned w i t h such matters as m e d i a t i o n , d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n although  model  on  a t t e n t i o n and  perceptual  they are a l l p o t e n t i a l f a c t o r s i n c l a s s i f i c a t i o n  P i a g e t , o f c o u r s e , has noted t h a t the f i r s t s t e p s i n the  child's  a b i l i t y to do c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s appears t o i n v o l v e r e c o g n i z i n g p e r c e p t u a l similarities.  He  does not e x p l a i n how  t h i s perceptual a b i l i t y i s acquired.  Presumably, i t i s a n a t u r a l consequence o f development. Kofsky's s t u d i e s i n d i c a t e t h a t the most d i f f i c u l t a s p e c t of a double c l a s s i f i c a t i o n t a s k f o r young c h i l d r e n l i e s i n changing the b a s i s of their categorization.  When c o n f r o n t e d w i t h r e d and b l u e t r i a n g l e s and  squares,  have no d i f f i c u l t y  but may  the c h i l d may  i n s o r t i n g on the b a s i s of  have t r o u b l e r e c l a s s i f y i n g on the b a s i s of form.  question:  I s the d i f f i c u l t y here one  T h i s r a i s e s the  t h a t can be d e s c r i b e d i n terms o f  m e d i a t i o n a l d e f i c i e n c y , or f a i l u r e of a t t e n t i o n a l mechanisms, or perceptual d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n ? b e t t e r understood by  colour  inadequate  I t i s p o s s i b l e t h a t the d i f f i c u l t y may  l o o k i n g a t i t from one  o f these  theoretical  be  viewpoints  but t h i s has not been done to our knowledge. Vygotsky's d e s c r i p t i o n o f the development of b e h a v i o u r agrees w i t h P i a g e t ' s  stage o u t l i n e .  classification  However, Vygotsky  the more advanced l e v e l s as a matter o f i n c r e a s i n g v e r b a l and a b i l i t y r a t h e r than a growth of l o g i c a l a b i l i t y . are more compatible The  conceptual  In t h i s r e s p e c t h i s views  w i t h t r a d i t i o n a l l e a r n i n g theory  s t u d i e s i n v o l v i n g the m a t r i x  describes  than are P i a g e t ' s .  t a s k suggest t h a t the c h i l d  may  26  s o l v e t h i s problem i n v a r i o u s ways:  p e r c e p t u a l l y (Bruner and Kenney,  I n h e l d e r and P i a g e t , 1964), by u s i n g a r u l e ( I n h e l d e r and P i a g e t , Bruner and Kenney, 1966;  Overton and B r o d z i n s k y ,  (Bruner and Kenney, 1966).  1966;  1964;  1972), by u s i n g an image  These o b s e r v a t i o n s are g e n e r a l l y c o m p a t i b l e  with  the K e n d l e r s ' two-stage t h e o r y i n which p e r c e p t u a l s o l u t i o n s are c h a r a c t e r i s t i c o f the younger c h i l d r e n and m e d i a t i o n a l s o l u t i o n s (images and  verbal  r u l e s ) a t the more advanced s t a g e . A l s o , i n r e g a r d t o the m a t r i x , Odom (1965, 1971) the p e r c e p t u a l s a l i e n c e o f the dimensions i s an i m p o r t a n t the d i f f i c u l t y o f the t a s k f o r an  p o i n t s out  that  factor affecting  individual.  Restatement o f the Problem I t i s apparent t h a t t h e r e a r e many d i f f e r e n t ways o f l o o k i n g a t c h i l d r e n ' s c o n c e p t u a l development.  The K e n d l e r and K e n d l e r and P i a g e t i a n  p o s i t i o n s though s e e m i n g l y q u i t e d i f f e r e n t a r e i n agreement i n s u g g e s t i n g t h a t a v e r y b a s i c change o c c u r s a t some p o i n t i n the c h i l d h o o d y e a r s . o f these approaches has o b t a i n e d e v i d e n c e from a v a r i e t y o f t a s k s .  Each  In t h i s  s t u d y , I have t r i e d t o i d e n t i f y s i m i l a r elements i n some o f t h e i r t a s k s  and  p i c k out those from each s c h o o l o f thought w h i c h seem t o o f f e r the most c l e a r l y d e f i n a b l e comparisons.  The  t a s k s which I d e c i d e d t o compare are  the o p t i o n a l r e v e r s a l s h i f t t a s k o f K e n d l e r  and K e n d l e r , and the two-way  c l a s s i f i c a t i o n and m a t r i x t a s k s o f P i a g e t . Making s i m p l e d i s c r i m i n a t i o n s and c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s are b a s i c processes  i n f o r m u l a t i n g concepts.  A t the h e a r t o f these p r o c e s s e s  i s the  r e c o g n i t i o n and use o f a b s t r a c t a t t r i b u t e s such as c o l o u r , s i z e , e t c .  The  27  r e c o g n i t i o n and use o f a b s t r a c t a t t r i b u t e s i s common t o b o t h t h e r e v e r s a l s h i f t task  and t h e P i a g e t i a n c l a s s i f i c a t i o n t a s k s .  T h e r e f o r e , t h i s may be  the b a s i c s i m i l a r i t y w h i c h has l e d t o t h e common view o f t h e K e n d l e r s and Piaget  t h a t t h e r e i s a fundamental change o b s e r v a b l e i n l e a r n i n g p r o c e s s e s  i n t h e 5-7-year age p e r i o d . I f t h e changes suggested by t h e two approaches have a common b a s i s , we would e x p e c t t h a t t h e c h i l d who can p e r f o r m c o n s i s t e n t l y w e l l on the two-way c l a s s i f i c a t i o n and m a t r i x t a s k s w i l l a l s o be l i k e l y t o make r e v e r s a l s h i f t s i n t h e o p t i o n a l s h i f t paradigm.  The problem then i s : can  a r e l a t i o n s h i p be shown between c h i l d r e n ' s performance on t h e r e v e r s a l s h i f t t a s k and performance on t h e m a t r i x and c l a s s i f i c a t i o n The h y p o t h e s i s t o be t e s t e d i s :  tasks?  t h a t i n a sample o f c h i l d r e n  drawn from t h e 5-7-year age range t h e r e w i l l be a s i g n i f i c a n t  positive  c o r r e l a t i o n (a) between performance on t h e P i a g e t i a n two-way  classification  t a s k and o p t i o n a l r e v e r s a l s h i f t r e s p o n d i n g , and (b) between m a t r i x performance and o p t i o n a l r e v e r s a l s h i f t r e s p o n d i n g .  task  28  CHAPTER I I I  METHODOLOGY  The C h o i c e o f Tasks  Three t a s k s were chosen f o r t h i s s t u d y because they appear t o r e q u i r e t h e same l o g i c a l o r c o n c e p t u a l p r o c e s s e s .  I t i s necessary  now t o  examine t h e r a t i o n a l e o f these t a s k s i n some d e t a i l and e x p l a i n how t h e v e r s i o n s used i n t h i s study were d e r i v e d .  1.  The M a t r i x Task The  task.  two P i a g e t i a n t a s k s a r e t h e m a t r i x t a s k and t h e c l a s s i f i c a t i o n  The m a t r i x t a s k i s a method o f a s s e s s i n g m u l t i p l i c a t i v e  abilities.  T h i s a b i l i t y c a l l s f o r simultaneous  classification  c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of objects  i n t o two o r more c a t e g o r i e s o r t h e o r d e r i n g o f o b j e c t s as t h e i n t e r s e c t o f two o r more c l a s s e s . When s t u d y i n g m u l t i p l i c a t i v e c l a s s i f i c a t i o n , P i a g e t and h i s c o l l a b o r a t o r s have g e n e r a l l y used t h e m a t r i x c o m p l e t i o n  task.  The m a t r i x  problem i s one which i s s e t o u t i n a g r i d p a t t e r n .  I t involves stimuli  which c a n be c l a s s i f i e d on two o r more d i m e n s i o n s .  In the standardized  p r o c e d u r e used by P i a g e t and a l s o used i n Raven's P r o g r e s s i v e M a t r i c e s , t h e lower r i g h t space o f t h e g r i d i s t o be f i l l e d i n w i t h an i t e m which w i l l a c h i e v e p a r a l l e l i s m w i t h t h e items a l r e a d y p r e s e n t e d .  For instance, i f  t h e r e i s a l a r g e square above a l a r g e c i r c l e on t h e l e f t s i d e and a s m a l l square i n t h e upper r i g h t p o s i t i o n , t h e n t h e expected s o l u t i o n i s a s m a l l c i r c l e p l a c e d i n t h e empty space. In a chapter d e a l i n g w i t h m u l t i p l i c a t i v e c l a s s i f i c a t i o n , and P i a g e t (1964) p o i n t o u t t h a t t h e m a t r i x i s more c o m p l i c a t e d  Inhelder  than  29  a d d i t i v e c l a s s i f i c a t i o n from a l o g i c a l p o i n t o f view because i t r e q u i r e s c l a s s i f i c a t i o n based on two o r more c r i t e r i a a t t h e same t i m e .  On t h e o t h e r  hand, they note t h a t t h e g r a p h i c form o f p r e s e n t a t i o n seems t o a s s i s t children i n arriving at a solution.  I n some cases c h i l d r e n appear t o s o l v e  a m a t r i x problem on t h e b a s i s o f p e r c e p t u a l symmetry.  That i s t o s a y , they  choose an element t o f i l l o u t t h e m a t r i x so t h a t t h e two columns o r t h e two rows w i l l appear s y m m e t r i c a l w i t h r e s p e c t t o each o t h e r .  Since  Piaget  c o n s i d e r s t h a t a p e r c e p t u a l s o l u t i o n i s n o t an adequate one, he t e s t s t h e c h i l d f u r t h e r by a s k i n g f o r a v e r b a l e x p l a n a t i o n o f t h e c h o i c e . i s c o n s i d e r e d t o have mastered t h e m a t r i x t a s k and i t s  The c h i l d  simultaneous  c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s when he can g i v e an adequate e x p l a n a t i o n f o r t h e c o r r e c t c h o i c e and when he r e f u s e s t o a c c e p t o t h e r p o s s i b i l i t i e s than t h e c o r r e c t one. 2.  R e l a t i o n s h i p between t h e M a t r i x and C l a s s i f i c a t i o n Tasks I n h e l d e r and P i a g e t  (1964) note t h a t m u l t i p l i c a t i v e  classifications  are mastered a t about t h e same time as o t h e r types o f c l a s s i f i c a t i o n , a t about age 7 t o 8.  T h i s f a c t suggests t h a t t h e r e may be an i n t e r d e p e n d e n c e  between t h e s e o p e r a t i o n s . they found a continuous  I n h e l d e r and P i a g e t s t a t e as a c o n c l u s i o n t h a t  p a r a l l e l i s m between a d d i t i v e and m u l t i p l i c a t i v e  c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s b u t they p r e s e n t no c l e a r c u t e v i d e n c e f o r t h i s s t a t e m e n t . A l o n g w i t h t h e m a t r i x I n h e l d e r and P i a g e t l o o k e d a t cross-classification.  By t h i s they mean s o r t i n g a number o f elements i n t o  a f i x e d number o f c l a s s e s ( f o u r a t f i r s t ) and t h e n combining these t o form larger classes.  P i a g e t has s e t up t h i s t a s k u s i n g a box w i t h p a r t i t i o n s  analogous t o t h e m a t r i x .  The c h i l d r e n were e x p e c t e d t o s o r t t h e b l o c k s o r  cards i n t o t h e f o u r c u b i c l e s and then remove t h e p a r t i t i o n s t o c r e a t e l a r g e r  30  classes.  In t h i s form, the c r o s s - c l a s s i f i c a t i o n  task i s quite s i m i l a r  to  the m a t r i x b u t i f the c h i l d i n i t i a l l y s o r t s r e d and b l u e c i r c l e s , f o r i n s t a n c e , i n t o d i a g o n a l compartments, he may  f i n d i t d i f f i c u l t t o see  a rearrangement would h e l p him form a l a r g e r c l a s s o f c i r c l e s on one o f the  how side  box. Cross-classification  a c c o r d i n g t o I n h e l d e r : and P i a g e t i s "a m a t t e r  o f c l a s s i f y i n g o b j e c t s i n terms o f two simultaneous t h a t producing  cross-classifications  and u n d e r s t a n d i n g  criteria."  They s t a t e  appears t o u n d e r l i e c o r r e c t performance  o f the m a t r i x problem.  A c c e p t i n g P i a g e t ' s a n a l y s i s , the m a t r i x t a s k can be thought o f as a special  form o f the c r o s s - c l a s s i f i c a t i o n  t a s k and the  t a s k i n t u r n as a form o f two-way c l a s s i f i c a t i o n .  cross-classification  I n the o r d i n a r y two-way  c l a s s i f i c a t i o n t a s k the s u b j e c t i s r e q u i r e d t o s o r t o b j e c t s i n t o two on the b a s i s o f one a t t r i b u t e on the b a s i s o f a d i f f e r e n t  and then r e a r r a n g e  attribute.  t a s k the c h i l d does e s s e n t i a l l y  sets  them t o form two new  In Piaget's  sets  cross-classification  the same o p e r a t i o n b u t i n two  steps.  The  group o f o b j e c t s i s f i r s t s o r t e d i n t o f o u r c l a s s e s u s i n g two v a l u e s o f attributes  (red, blue; c i r c l e , square).  Then the c h i l d o b s e r v e s how  combine these c l a s s e s i n two d i f f e r e n t ways on t h e b a s i s o f one ( c o l o u r ) and then the o t h e r  (form).  This two-step process  two  he  can  attribute  i s o f t e n the  way  the c h i l d approaches the two-way c l a s s i f i c a t i o n p r o b l e m , t h a t i s , f i r s t making s e t s o f a l l the s i m i l a r o b j e c t s and then combining them.  The  c r o s s - c l a s s i f i c a t i o n method o f P i a g e t does n o t h i n g more than s e t out problem i n a m a t r i x p a t t e r n .  I t i l l u s t r a t e s the r e l a t i o n s h i p  the  between the  m a t r i x and c l a s s i f i c a t i o n b u t i s not a good t a s k t o a d m i n i s t e r because o f the d i f f i c u l t y noted above. Both the m a t r i x and the c l a s s i f i c a t i o n t a s k s r e q u i r e the c h i l d t o  31  be a b l e t o see t h a t an o b j e c t can b e l o n g simultaneously.  t o two d i f f e r e n t c l a s s e s  A r e d c i r c l e can be c l a s s e d w i t h o t h e r r e d o b j e c t s or w i t h  c i r c l e s of other colours.  I n the case o f the m a t r i x t a s k , the c h i l d must  complete the m a t r i x w i t h the i t e m w h i c h produces a c l a s s based on  one  d i m e n s i o n f o r the rows and a d i f f e r e n t c l a s s based on a n o t h e r d i m e n s i o n f o r the columns.  I n the two-way c l a s s i f i c a t i o n t a s k , he must form a c l a s s based  on one dimension f o r h i s f i r s t s o r t and then use a d i f f e r e n t d i m e n s i o n t o c r e a t e a new  classification.  So f u n d a m e n t a l l y  the problems appear t o be  similar. There a r e d i f f e r e n c e s i n the format o f these t a s k s which may  be  s i g n i f i c a n t f a c t o r s a f f e c t i n g performance: (1)  The m a t r i x t a s k i s a c o m p l e t i o n  task while  the  c l a s s i f i c a t i o n t a s k hinges on r e a r r a n g i n g the elements (2)  There a r e g e n e r a l l y more s t i m u l i t o d e a l w i t h i n the  c l a s s i f i c a t i o n t a s k than i n the two-way m a t r i x .  3.  The C l a s s i f i c a t i o n Task The  c l a s s i f i c a t i o n t a s k used i n the p r e s e n t study b e l o n g s i n a  range of t a s k s t h a t were a n a l y z e d and d e s c r i b e d by I n h e l d e r and (1959).  They h y p o t h e s i z e d  p a r t i a l l y ordered  t h a t c l a s s i f i c a t i o n a b i l i t y develops i n a  sequence o f 11 s t e p s .  Kofsky  (1966) attempted t o  t r a n s l a t e the s t e p s i n t o a s e t o f f a i r l y s t a n d a r d i z e d t a s k s and Geometric b l o c k s o f 3 shapes and 4 c o l o u r s were used as s t i m u l i . o f a c t i v i t y t h a t I n h e l d e r and P i a g e t had Kofsky  Piaget  called  labelled horizontal reclassification.  were b l o c k s combining 2 shapes and 4 c o l o u r s .  procedures. The  sort  cross-classification,  I n her v e r s i o n , the s t i m u l i Each s u b j e c t was  asked  (a) t o s o r t a l l the o b j e c t s t h a t were a l i k e i n t o groups, (b) t o s o r t a  32  d i f f e r e n t way  and  (c) t o e x p l a i n each complete g r o u p i n g .  To pass the  test  the c h i l d had t o s o r t c o m p l e t e l y by c o l o u r a t one time and by shape a t another t i m e .  T h i s g e n e r a l scheme was  f o l l o w e d f o r the c l a s s i f i c a t i o n  task  o f the p r e s e n t study e x c e p t t h a t o n l y 2 c o l o u r s were used. N e i t h e r K o f s k y nor I n h e l d e r and P i a g e t attempted t o compare t h i s t y p e o f c l a s s i f i c a t i o n t a s k t o the m a t r i x b u t P i a g e t and I n h e l d e r  (1970)  d e s c r i b e the s i t u a t i o n o f a c h i l d d o i n g a c r o s s - c l a s s i f i c a t i o n w i t h 2 shapes and 2 c o l o u r s and i n the p r o c e s s matrix.  a r r a n g i n g the o b j e c t s i n the form o f a  T h e i r d i s c u s s i o n suggests a c l o s e r e l a t i o n s h i p between the two In a l a t e r study, Kofsky  and O s i e r  p a r a l l e l s between s o r t i n g b e h a v i o u r  tasks.  (1967) e x p l o r e d p o s s i b l e  and concept i d e n t i f i c a t i o n .  They used  some c l a s s i f i c a t i o n t a s k s o f s i m i l a r d e s i g n t o the above b u t v a r y i n g the number o f dimensions and s t i m u l i . the s u b j e c t s  I n the second e x p e r i m e n t o f t h i s  (5-, 8- and 11-year-olds)  o f s t i m u l i i n t o two groups.  study  were i n s t r u c t e d t o arrange the s e t  I f they made more than two, they were asked t o  combine these groups u n t i l two c l a s s e s were o b t a i n e d .  This procedure  was  used t o see i f c h i l d r e n c o u l d p e r f o r m i n a manner s i m i l a r t o t h a t r e q u i r e d i n a two-choice concept problem. study because i t was  The  same p r o c e d u r e was  used i n the  f e l t t h a t the t h r e e t a s k s b e i n g compared c o u l d  present be  c o n s i d e r e d as t w o - c h o i c e concept problems.  4.  The O p t i o n a l S h i f t Task The o p t i o n a l s h i f t t e c h n i q u e was  performance of i n d i v i d u a l age groups.  d e v e l o p e d as a method o f comparing  The mandatory s h i f t t e c h n i q u e  had been used i n many e a r l i e r s t u d i e s o f s h i f t b e h a v i o u r  simply  which  provided  group averages o f the number o f t r i a l s t o s o l u t i o n f o r a r e v e r s a l o r nonreversal s h i f t . s o l u t i o n how  W i t h the o p t i o n a l t a s k the s u b j e c t i n d i c a t e s by h i s  he i s u s i n g  the s t i m u l u s v a l u e s .  He can t h e r e b y be  assessed  33  as a s u b j e c t who i s making a r e v e r s a l s h i f t o r an e x t r a d i m e n s i o n a l s h i f t or  neither. The d e f i n i n g f e a t u r e o f t h e s h i f t d i s c r i m i n a t i o n t a s k i s t h e  unannounced change i n t h e d i m e n s i o n w h i c h i s t o be rewarded.  A f t e r the  s u b j e c t has s o l v e d t h e problem o f f i n d i n g t h e r e l e v a n t d i m e n s i o n i n t h e f i r s t phase o f t h e e x p e r i m e n t , he i s c o n f r o n t e d w i t h a new problem. the  In  case o f a mandatory s h i f t , t h e e x p e r i m e n t e r may e i t h e r change t h e v a l u e  of t h e r e l e v a n t d i m e n s i o n p r o d u c i n g a r e v e r s a l s h i f t o r may choose a new d i m e n s i o n t o be rewarded which i s an e x t r a d i m e n s i o n a l s h i f t .  The o p t i o n a l  s h i f t paradigm i s d i f f e r e n t i n t h a t i n t h e second d i s c r i m i n a t i o n t h e s t i m u l u s t h a t i s rewarded i s a c o m b i n a t i o n o f b o t h d i m e n s i o n s .  After  c r i t e r i o n i s reached on t h e f i r s t d i s c r i m i n a t i o n , one s t i m u l u s p a i r i s p r e s e n t e d w i t h rewards r e v e r s e d .  The s u b j e c t must s h i f t h i s response b u t  may respond t o e i t h e r d i m e n s i o n o r b o t h .  I n t h e f i n a l phase o f t h e  experiment t h e t e s t p a i r , on w h i c h any c h o i c e i s rewarded, i s a l t e r n a t e d w i t h a t r a i n i n g p a i r on which o n l y t h e c o r r e c t p a i r i s rewarded. The o p t i o n a l s h i f t as p r e s e n t e d by t h e K e n d l e r s (1962) i s i l l u s t r a t e d i n F i g u r e 2 and w i l l be e x p l a i n e d i n more d e t a i l . In t h e f i r s t phase o f t h e e x p e r i m e n t , s u b j e c t s a r e p r e s e n t e d w i t h s t i m u l u s c a r d s showing a l a r g e b l a c k square  (LB) p a i r e d w i t h a s m a l l w h i t e  square (SW) o r a l a r g e w h i t e square (LW) w i t h a s m a l l b l a c k square (SB). Order and p o s i t i o n a r e randomized and each concept (L,B,S,W) i s c o r r e c t f o r one f o u r t h o f t h e s u b j e c t s . In t h e case o f a s u b j e c t f o r whom b l a c k i s t h e c o r r e c t concept and s i z e i s i r r e l e v a n t , t h e c h o i c e o f e i t h e r SB o r LB i s rewarded.  When he  reaches c r i t e r i o n on t h i s problem, a second d i s c r i m i n a t i o n i s p r e s e n t e d which i n v o l v e s o n l y one o f t h e s t i m u l u s p a i r s , e.g., LB and SW, and SW i s  34 now rewarded as t h e c o r r e c t r e s p o n s e .  The c h i l d can r e a c h c r i t e r i o n on  t h i s phase by c h o o s i n g w h i t e , i n w h i c h case he i s c o n s i d e r e d t o be making a r e v e r s a l response t o another v a l u e o f the b r i g h t n e s s d i m e n s i o n . a l s o be r e s p o n d i n g t o t h e s m a l l n e s s o f SW.  He  could  T h i s c h o i c e can be e x p e c t e d  from nonmediators s i n c e i n the f i r s t phase s m a l l was rewarded h a l f o f the time and w h i t e n e s s n o t a t a l l .  The c h i l d can a l s o respond t o b o t h the  s m a l l n e s s and w h i t e n e s s o f the s t i m u l u s .  The K e n d l e r s t a k e t h i s t o be  another nonmediating response which i s c a t e g o r i z e d as " i n c o n s i s t e n t . " In o r d e r t o determine the way to  i n which the c h i l d has been r e s p o n d i n g  the second phase o f the t a s k , a t h i r d s e r i e s i s i n t r o d u c e d w i t h o u t  interruption.  Both s t i m u l u s p a i r s a r e used b u t the p a i r t h a t was n o t used  i n the second phase (LW and SB) a r e now a t e s t p a i r .  E i t h e r choice i s  rewarded on t h i s p a i r b u t a c t u a l c h o i c e s are r e c o r d e d f o r 10 p r e s e n t a t i o n s . On the b a s i s of these c h o i c e s the c h i l d i s s c o r e d as a r e v e r s a l s u b j e c t i f W i s chosen a t l e a s t 8 o u t o f 10 t i m e s , a n o n r e v e r s a l s u b j e c t i f S i s chosen a t l e a s t 8 o u t o f 10, and i n c o n s i s t e n t i n o t h e r c a s e s .  5.  R e l a t i o n s h i p between the S h i f t Task and the M a t r i x and  Classification  Tasks I t was argued p r e v i o u s l y t h a t the m a t r i x and c l a s s i f i c a t i o n t a s k s r e q u i r e d the s u b j e c t t o i d e n t i f y and use f i r s t one c o n c e p t u a l d i m e n s i o n and then another i n o r d e r t o a c h i e v e s o l u t i o n s . seemingly i d e n t i f y those s u b j e c t s who  The d i s c r i m i n a t i o n s h i f t t a s k s  can c o n s i s t e n t l y use a c o n c e p t u a l  dimension t o s o l v e b o t h i n i t i a l and r e v e r s a l phases o f the problem.  For  i n s t a n c e , i f a c h i l d d i s c o v e r s t h a t "red" i s the c o r r e c t s o l u t i o n i n the f i r s t phase, he w i l l  ( i f a r e v e r s a l responder) n a t u r a l l y t r y the c o l o u r  d i m e n s i o n i n the second phase.  A c h i l d who  tends t o use the c o n c e p t u a l  35  dimensions t o s o l v e a r e v e r s a l s h i f t , s h o u l d t h e o r e t i c a l l y be a b l e t o use s i m i l a r conceptual categories to achieve c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s or matrix Those o t h e r s u b j e c t s who  do not use a b s t r a c t c o n c e p t u a l dimensions such as  c o l o u r o r form t o s o l v e the r e v e r s a l s h i f t t a s k may  solutions.  (the n o n r e v e r s a l  responders)  be p r o c e s s i n g the s t i m u l u s f e a t u r e s s o l e l y on a p e r c e p t u a l l e v e l as r e d  squares o r r e d c i r c l e s .  I f these s u b j e c t s a r e , i n f a c t , u n a b l e t o see a  c o n c e p t u a l s o l u t i o n t o the s h i f t t a s k , then they may  w e l l have the same  d i f f i c u l t y i n a c h i e v i n g a c o n c e p t u a l s o l u t i o n t o the c l a s s i f i c a t i o n matrix tasks. or matrix  They may  be unable t o use the d i m e n s i o n as a b a s i s f o r s o r t i n g  completion.  Experimental  1.  and  Procedures  Subjects S u b j e c t s were 34 c h i l d r e n i n a k i n d e r g a r t e n c l a s s i n a m i d d l e -  c l a s s suburban elementary  s c h o o l i n N o r t h Vancouver.  They v a r i e d i n age  from 5 y e a r s , 3 months t o 6 y e a r s , 2 months w i t h a median age o f Males outnumbered females 22 t o 12.  2.  5.11.  A l l s u b j e c t s completed a l l o f the t a s k s .  Material a.  The  s h i f t task.  Three t a s k s were a d m i n i s t e r e d .  One was  o p t i o n a l r e v e r s a l s h i f t d i s c r i m i n a t i o n as employed by K e n d l e r and T h i s was  r e f e r r e d t o as the s h i f t t a s k .  the  Kendler.  The o t h e r two were based on  the  c r o s s - c l a s s i f i c a t i o n t a s k and the m a t r i x c o m p l e t i o n t a s k d e s c r i b e d by I n h e l d e r and P i a g e t (1964).  They were r e f e r r e d t o as the  classification  t a s k and the m a t r i x t a s k , r e s p e c t i v e l y . A l l t h r e e t a s k s used s i m i l a r s t i m u l i , namely, geometric  forms  36  ( c i r c l e , square, t r i a n g l e ) v a r y i n g i n s i z e  (large o r small) o r colour ( r e d ,  b l u e , o r orange). I n t h e s h i f t d i s c r i m i n a t i o n t a s k o n l y t h e square shape was used and i t was v a r i e d on two d i m e n s i o n s : (blue o r o r a n g e ) .  size  ( l a r g e o r s m a l l ) and c o l o u r  Because t h e s h i f t t a s k was a f a i r l y l o n g e x e r c i s e f o r  young c h i l d r e n , i t was c o n s i d e r e d t o o demanding t o use a l l c o m b i n a t i o n s o f the t h r e e d i m e n s i o n s . K e n d l e r and K e n d l e r  The c o l o u r - s i z e c o m b i n a t i o n  was used because i n t h e  (1970) study u s i n g t h e same t h r e e dimensions i t was  found t o be t h e p a i r i n g which most n e a r l y agreed w i t h t h e combined r e s u l t s of a l l three p a i r i n g s .  I n f a c t , f o r t h e k i n d e r g a r t e n s u b j e c t s t h e r e was no  significant difference. The  s t i m u l i c o n s i s t e d o f a s e t o f 4><6-inch c a r d s .  shown i n F i g u r e 3.  An example i s  A l i n e a c r o s s t h e c a r d d i v i d e d i t i n t o two e q u a l  each d i s p l a y i n g a square o f c o l o u r e d paper p a s t e d  i nplace.  squares were 4.2 cm p e r s i d e and t h e s m a l l ones were 2.6 cm.  areas,  The l a r g e On each c a r d  the squares were always opposed t o each o t h e r on b o t h d i m e n s i o n s . b.  The m a t r i x t a s k .  F o r t h e m a t r i x t a s k t h e s t i m u l i were g e o m e t r i c  shapes ( c i r c l e , s q u a r e , t r i a n g l e ) c u t o u t o f m a s o n i t e and p a i n t e d b r i g h t r e d or blue.  The squares were 4.2 cm o r 3.6 cm p e r s i d e , t h e t r i a n g l e s 5.2 cm  o r 3.7 cm, and t h e c i r c l e s had d i a m e t e r s o f .5 cm o r 3.3 cm (see F i g u r e 4 ) . These d i m e n s i o n s produced an approximate s i m i l a r i t y i n a r e a among t h e l a r g e ones and among t h e s m a l l ones.  Since the matrix completion  t a s k was t o be  a s i m p l e 2x2 t y p e , a w h i t e c a r d was used which was d i v i d e d i n h a l f each way by a b l a c k l i n e thus c r e a t i n g 4 c e l l s .  On t h i s t h e m a t r i x p r o b l e m was l a i d  out.  c.  The c l a s s i f i c a t i o n t a s k .  The m a t e r i a l f o r t h e c l a s s i f i c a t i o n  Figure 3  Example o f s t i m u l u s  c a r d f o r the o p t i o n a l r e v e r s a l s h i f t  task  Figure 4  Examples o f s i z e s and shapes used i n the m a t r i x  task  39  t a s k c o n s i s t e d o f a s e t o f 6.2x7.5 cm c a r d s each o f w h i c h had on i t one o f the t h r e e g e o m e t r i c forms, e i t h e r r e d o r b l u e , l a r g e o r s m a l l 5).  The dimensions were g e n e r a l l y t h e same as those used i n t h e o t h e r  tasks.  3.  (see F i g u r e  There were s e v e r a l d u p l i c a t i o n s o f each p a r t i c u l a r s t i m u l u s  type.  Procedure The t a s k s were a d m i n i s t e r e d a.  The m a t r i x t a s k .  i n t h e same o r d e r f o r a l l s u b j e c t s .  The m a t r i x t a s k was p r e s e n t e d  c h i l d r e n were a t t r a c t e d t o t h e c o l o u r e d forms and were i n t e r e s t e d i n t a k i n g p a r t i n t h e " t h i n k i n g game."  first.  immediately  The c h i l d r e n were f i r s t  asked t o i d e n t i f y a l l o f t h e v a l u e s and dimensions o f t h e s t i m u l i . were o n l y two o r t h r e e c h i l d r e n who c o u l d n o t i m m e d i a t e l y  There  i d e n t i f y the  t r i a n g l e o r square by name b u t they were o b v i o u s l y a l l f a m i l i a r w i t h shapes.  The  these  The e x p e r i m e n t e r l a i d o u t 3 s t i m u l i on t h e w h i t e c a r d , e.g., t h e  l a r g e r e d t r i a n g l e , t h e s m a l l r e d t r i a n g l e and t h e l a r g e r e d c i r c l e , l e a v i n g t h e lower r i g h t c e l l empty. these  The c h i l d was t h e n a s k e d , "Which o f  (E p o i n t i n g t o t r a y o f s t i m u l i ) goes b e s t i n t h i s p l a c e ? "  After  making h i s c h o i c e , t h e c h i l d was asked, "Why d i d you choose t h i s one?"  He  was t h e n a s k e d , "Can a n y t h i n g e l s e go i n t h e empty p l a c e j u s t as w e l l ? " I n s t r u c t i o n s were g e n e r a l l y p a t t e r n e d on those used by I n h e l d e r and P i a g e t (1964) .  Each c h i l d was p r e s e n t e d w i t h t h r e e d i f f e r e n t arrangements o f incomplete  m a t r i x so t h a t a l l c o m b i n a t i o n s o f t h e t h r e e dimensions were  used; i . e . , c o l o u r - f o r m , f o r m - s i z e , and c o l o u r - s i z e . The o r d e r o f t h e t h r e e subtasks was r o t a t e d from s u b j e c t t o s u b j e c t . Scoring.  The c h i l d was s c o r e d one p o i n t f o r each c o r r e c t c h o i c e  i f he s t a y e d w i t h i t , t h a t i s , i f he d i d n o t change h i s r e s p o n s e when asked  40  Figure 5  Card t y p e s used i n the c l a s s i f i c a t i o n  task  41  i f any o t h e r c h o i c e would be as good.  He was g i v e n a n o t h e r p o i n t i f he  could e x p l a i n the reason f o r h i s choice.  Therefore  a s c o r e o f 6 p o i n t s was  possible for a l l 3 parts. b.  The s h i f t d i s c r i m i n a t i o n t a s k .  The s h i f t d i s c r i m i n a t i o n t a s k  was a d m i n i s t e r e d n e x t and i n t h e same s e s s i o n . Instructions. be q u i t e easy.  "Now we w i l l p l a y another t h i n k i n g game.  Look a t these c a r d s .  What do they have on them?"  sure c h i l d can i d e n t i f y a l l elements.) each c a r d . one  It will (Make  "There a r e always two t h i n g s on  I am g o i n g t o choose one o f them and I want you t o guess which  I have chosen and p o i n t t o i t .  I ' l l t e l l you i f you guess r i g h t .  we w i l l do t h e same t h i n g w i t h t h e o t h e r c a r d s .  Then  L e t ' s s t a r t now and y o u  w i l l soon see how i t goes." F o r each c h o i c e t h e c h i l d was t o l d "Yes" o r "No," and a n o t h e r c a r d was immediately  turned over.  The cards were p r e a r r a n g e d  so t h a t t h e c o r r e c t  s t i m u l i would occur e q u a l l y o f t e n on each s i d e and a l s o no more than t h r e e c o n s e c u t i v e times on one s i d e . C r i t e r i o n f o r t h i s phase o f t h e d i s c r i m i n a t i o n t a s k was 10 successive correct choices. quite rapidly.  Most c h i l d r e n caught on f a i r l y  q u i c k l y , some  The o t h e r s were encouraged t o keep t r y i n g u n t i l they were  t i r e d and u n w i l l i n g t o t r y a g a i n . When a c h i l d completed t h e f i r s t d i s c r i m i n a t i o n s u c c e s s f u l l y , he was immediately  p r e s e n t e d w i t h t h e second phase o f t h e t a s k .  I f the c o r r e c t  c h o i c e i n t h e f i r s t p a r t had been " l a r g e , " i t would now be " s m a l l . " c a r d s now had o n l y two s t i m u l i , l a r g e orange and s m a l l b l u e . c r i t e r i o n was 10 s u c c e s s i v e c o r r e c t c h o i c e s .  The  Once a g a i n ,  The c h i l d r e n caught on t o t h e  s h i f t q u i t e r a p i d l y , u s u a l l y a f t e r t h e f i r s t i n c o r r e c t guess. I n t h e f i n a l phase o f t h e t a s k , cards showing t h e t r a i n i n g p a i r  42  f o r which t h e r e was the t e s t p a i r .  o n l y one  c o r r e c t c h o i c e were p r e s e n t e d  For the t e s t p a i r e i t h e r c h o i c e was  the a c t u a l c h o i c e was  r e c o r d e d on the p r o t o c o l .  c o u l d be determined whether the c h i l d was on a s w i t c h from l a r g e to s m a l l (a n o n r e v e r s a l s h i f t ) . the c h i l d was  alternately  d e c l a r e d c o r r e c t but  From these responses i t  b a s i n g h i s second d i s c r i m i n a t i o n  (a r e v e r s a l s h i f t ) o r from l a r g e t o b l u e  I f a t l e a s t 8 out of 10 c h o i c e s were c o n s i s t e n t ,  s c o r e d as a r e v e r s e r or a n o n r e v e r s e r .  c o n s i s t e n t c h o i c e s , he was  I f he made fewer  l a b e l l e d as n o n s e l e c t i v e .  A t the o u t s e t of the d i s c r i m i n a t i o n task each of the s t i m u l u s v a l u e s was  p o s i t i v e f o r one  The  t e n days l a t e r .  dimensions w i t h two  C l a s s i f i c a t i o n Task  administered  a t another  There were t h r e e subtasks  v a l u e s of each.  "I want you  piles. had  A s e t o f 12 cards were p r e s e n t e d  s o r t e d them s u c c e s s f u l l y i n t o two p i l e s , he was  doing  for his sorting.  i t a d i f f e r e n t way.  Then he was He was  in a  Instructions  the t h i n g s t h a t go t o g e t h e r .  Make sure t h e r e i s a d i f f e r e n t k i n d i n each p i l e . "  reasons  and  t o put t o g e t h e r  session  each i n v o l v i n g two  s c a t t e r e d arrangement on the t a b l e i n f r o n t of the c h i l d . were:  four  q u a r t e r of the s u b j e c t s .  A simple c l a s s i f i c a t i o n t a s k was approximately  with  Make  When the  two child  asked t o e x p l a i n the  asked i f he c o u l d make two more p i l e s ,  s c o r e d one mark f o r each c o r r e c t s o r t i n g  e x p l a n a t i o n , thus g i v i n g a maximum o f 6 p o i n t s f o r t h i s  task.  43  Hypotheses and D e s i g n  The hypotheses t o be t e s t e d were: (1)  That t h e r e i s a s i g n i f i c a n t p o s i t i v e c o r r e l a t i o n between scores on the m a t r i x task and on the r e v e r s a l  (2)  shift  task  That t h e r e i s a s i g n i f i c a n t p o s i t i v e c o r r e l a t i o n between s c o r e s on the c l a s s i f i c a t i o n t a s k and on the r e v e r s a l statistical  s h i f t task.  In  terms f o r 34 s u b j e c t s t h i s means t h a t the c o r r e l a t i o n  c o e f f i c i e n t s s h o u l d exceed  .28 a t the .10 l e v e l .  The d e s i g n o f t h i s experiment simply r e q u i r e d the comparison o f r e s u l t s o f the t h r e e t a s k s a d m i n i s t e r e d t o one group o f s u b j e c t s .  The  s u b j e c t s r e p r e s e n t i n g the 5-7-year age group were t o be k i n d e r g a r t e n enrolled  i n an elementary s c h o o l .  Pearson c o r r e l a t i o n c o e f f i c i e n t s . analysis  pupils  Task r e s u l t s were t o be compared by I t was  a l s o d e c i d e d t o use a c h i - s q u a r e  a f t e r d i c h o t o m i z i n g the r e s u l t s o f each t a s k t o agree w i t h p r e s e t  d e f i n i t i o n s o f competent  t a s k performance.  44  CHAPTER IV  RESULTS  The r e s u l t s o b t a i n e d d i d n o t s u p p o r t t h e hypotheses t h a t t h e r e would be p o s i t i v e r e l a t i o n s h i p s between performance on t h e m a t r i x and c l a s s i f i c a t i o n t a s k s , and t h e tendency t o make a r e v e r s a l s h i f t .  The  c o r r e l a t i o n s were p o s i t i v e b u t n o t s i g n i f i c a n t . The c o r r e l a t i o n o f m a t r i x t a s k r e s u l t s w i t h t h e s h i f t was .19, and t h e c l a s s i f i c a t i o n t a s k w i t h t h e s h i f t was .11; n e i t h e r b e i n g s i g n i f i c a n t a t t h e .10 l e v e l .  I t was a l s o found t h a t t h e m a t r i x and  c l a s s i f i c a t i o n t a s k s had a n o n s i g n i f i c a n t c o r r e l a t i o n  (.12).  Age had a s l i g h t n e g a t i v e c o r r e l a t i o n w i t h t h e t h r e e t a s k s b u t was n o t s i g n i f i c a n t .  C o r r e l a t i o n w i t h sex was a l s o i n s i g n i f i c a n t .  I n t h e case o f t h e s h i f t t a s k , a check was made t o see i f cue p r e f e r e n c e might have a f f e c t e d performance'.  The f o u r p o s i t i v e s t i m u l i i n  the f i r s t d i s c r i m i n a t i o n were c o r r e l a t e d w i t h r e s u l t s on t h i s t a s k .  It  was found t h a t t h e r e was no s i g n i f i c a n t e f f e c t . Chi-square  t e s t s were a l s o performed.  I n t h i s case t h e d a t a  were recoded as i n d i c a t e d i n T a b l e I . The r a t i o n a l e f o r t h i s r e c o d i n g was t h a t we w i s h e d t o a n a l y z e performances o f t h e c h i l d r e n on t h e s i m p l e r l e v e l , o f whether they chose t h e r e v e r s a l s h i f t o r n o t , and whether o r n o t they c o u l d do t h e m a t r i x and c l a s s i f i c a t i o n t a s k s a d e q u a t e l y one form.  i n at least  45  Table I  Recoding o f the d a t a f o r c h i - s q u a r e a n a l y s i s  Task Matrix  Score  Criteria  2  task  c o r r e c t performance and e x p l a n a t i o n on a t l e a s t one a l l o t h e r responses  1 Classification  Shift  2 1  a t l e a s t one two-way c l a s s i f i c a t i o n achieved a l l o t h e r responses  2 1  reversal shift a l l others  I t can be seen from T a b l e I I t h a t the c h i - s q u a r e t h a t t h e r e were no s i g n i f i c a n t  Table I I  The  shift  Classification Matrix with  with  analysis indicated  r e l a t i o n s h i p s between the t a s k s as r e c o d e d .  corrected  chi-squares  Chi-square  Matrix with  subtest  shift  classification  Significance  .003  .95  .000  .98  .405  .52  level  T a b l e I I I Frequency t a b l e s f o r t h e t h r e e  Scores  Number o f subjects  Percentage  reversal shift  4  16  47.1  nonreversal  3  7  20.6  nonselective  2  4  11.8  u n a b l e t o do f i r s t discrimination  1  7  20.6  Scores  Number o f subjects  Percentage  0  2  5.9  1  1  2.9  2  5  14.7  3  8  23.5  4  4  11.8  5  6  17.6  6  8  23.5  Scores  Number o f subjects  Percentage  0  2  5.9  1  6  17.6  2  5  14.7  3  1  2.9  4  4  11.8  5  5  14.7  6  11  32.4  Task Shift:  Task Classification  Task Matrix  tasks  47  Frequencies f o r the c l a s s i f i c a t i o n task show that 8 subjects scored 3 points which represented 3 correct one-way c l a s s i f i c a t i o n and no points f o r two-way c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s .  There were also 8 subjects who scored  6 points f o r performing the two-way c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s p e r f e c t l y .  The other  scores (except 0) indicate inconsistent performance and possibly the e f f e c t of the preference. As examples of inconsistency across tasks, there were three cases of children who achieved perfect scores on the c l a s s i f i c a t i o n task but who scored only one or two points on the matrix.  I t may be s i g n i f i c a n t that  one of these children chose the reversal s h i f t .  There were three cases of  children who did the matrix completion perfectly but who were unable to sort  the c l a s s i f i c a t i o n stimuli i n more than one way.  One of these chose  a reversal s h i f t . On the other hand, there were only four subjects who achieved perfect scores on both the c l a s s i f i c a t i o n and matrix tasks. these subjects chose a reversal s h i f t .  In each case  This finding suggests that the  relationship we were looking for i n this study might be found i n a s l i g h t l y older group of children.  48  CHAPTER V  DISCUSSION  Explanation of Results  1.  Lack o f Support f o r H y p o t h e s i s There a r e t h r e e p o s s i b l e e x p l a n a t i o n s f o r t h e l a c k o f s i g n i f i c a n t  c o r r e l a t i o n s and t h e f a c t t h a t t h e c h i - s q u a r e t e s t s were n e g a t i v e : (1) I t may be t h a t t h e t a s k s do n o t c a l l f o r t h e same s k i l l s ; t a s k s may n o t have been made e q u a l i n d i f f i c u l t y ;  (2) The  (3) Other f a c t o r s may  have been o p e r a t i n g t o mask an a c t u a l r e l a t i o n s h i p . The h y p o t h e s i s t h a t t h e same c o g n i t i v e a b i l i t i e s a r e c a l l e d f o r i n these t a s k s may be i n v a l i d .  On t h e o t h e r hand, i t may be t h a t t h e c h i l d  has t h e a b i l i t y t o r e c o g n i z e and use t h e t a s k dimensions and change c r i t e r i a when c a l l e d f o r b u t he i s e n c o u n t e r i n g i n the tasks.  The problem o f f i n d i n g e v i d e n c e f o r h y p o t h e s i z e d  o p e r a t i o n s has been noted many times Kofsky,  o t h e r d i f f i c u l t i e s which a r e i n h e r e n t  1966; Smedslund, 1964).  cognitive  (e.g., F l a v e l l and W o h l w i l l , 1969;  T h i s problem w i l l be taken up i n more d e t a i l  later.  2.  Agreement w i t h P r e v i o u s  Studies  The t a s k s s h o u l d have been e q u a l i n d i f f i c u l t y i n o r d e r t o make m e a n i n g f u l comparisons between them.  O v e r a l l r e s u l t s i n d i c a t e d t h a t they  were s i m i l a r i n d i f f i c u l t y f o r t h e group as a whole. t a s k 52.9% o f s u b j e c t s s c o r e d 4 o r more p o i n t s  In the c l a s s i f i c a t i o n  ( i n d i c a t i n g t h a t they  could  do t h e two-way c l a s s i f i c a t i o n i n a t l e a s t one i n s t a n c e and g i v e an adequate e x p l a n a t i o n ) .  F o r t h e m a t r i x t a s k 58.8% o f s u b j e c t s s c o r e d 4 o r  49  more points.  The percentage of reversal s h i f t subjects was  47.1%.  The fact that the results obtained for each of the three  tasks  were s i m i l a r to findings i n previous studies lends support to the view that the experimental method could not be blamed for the f a i l u r e to confirm hypothesis.  the  With regard to the reversal s h i f t study, Kendler and Kendler  (1975) have found i n t h e i r studies with large groups of children that there are generally about 50% reversal s h i f t s with kindergarten children. In the case of the c l a s s i f i c a t i o n task, a s i m i l a r version used by Kofsky and Osier  (1967) showed 50% of the 5-year-old group doing adequate sorting  (two-way with explanation).  Piaget and Inhelder  (1970) indicate 57%  operational solutions for a two-attribute matrix using 6-year-old  subjects  (14 subjects). These comparisons seem to indicate that neither the subjects  nor  the methods used were l i k e l y to produce unusual r e s u l t s .  3.  Another Possible Approach While the hypothesized r e l a t i o n s h i p between discrimination s h i f t  performance and multiple c l a s s i f i c a t i o n a b i l i t y was  not supported by  the  results of this study, i t i s s t i l l possible that this r e l a t i o n s h i p holds with s l i g h t l y older children.  One possible new  approach would be to t e s t a  group of 6- or 7-year-olds and select two groups that could be c l e a r l y categorized as preoperational or concrete operational using a battery of Piagetian tasks. performance. subjects who f i n a l study.  Then the groups could be compared for reversal s h i f t  The disadvantage of this type of study i s that many t r a n s i t i o n a l would not f i t either category would have to be dropped from the  50  D i f f e r e n c e s between t h e K e n d l e r  and P i a g e t i a n Tasks  W h i l e t h e t a s k s used i n t h i s experiment were d e s i g n e d s i m i l a r s t i m u l i and t o r e q u i r e s i m i l a r l o g i c a l p r o c e s s e s ,  t o present  t h e r e were a t  l e a s t two i m p o r t a n t d i f f e r e n c e s between t h e P i a g e t i a n t a s k s and t h e s h i f t task.  One d i f f e r e n c e was o b v i o u s i n t h e t a s k format and s o l u t i o n r e q u i r e -  ments, t h e o t h e r i n t h e language 1.  requirements.  Task Format R e v e r s a l and n o n r e v e r s a l s h i f t s a r e r e v e a l e d i n a t a s k format  where t h e r e a r e many t r i a l s and c o n t i n u a l r e i n f o r c e m e n t .  The s u b j e c t , i f  he can do t h e t a s k a t a l l , i s l e d t o c o n t i n u e h i s e f f o r t s toward a s o l u t i o n . By t h e end o f t h e t a s k he has p r o b a b l y  i n d i c a t e d j u s t how w e l l he can d e a l  w i t h t h e problem a t t h a t p a r t i c u l a r t i m e .  The P i a g e t i a n t a s k s , on t h e o t h e r  hand, a r e much more open-ended i n t h e i r r e q u i r e m e n t s .  When t h e c h i l d  chooses an o b j e c t t o f i l l o u t t h e m a t r i x , he i s n o t t o l d t h a t i t i s r i g h t or wrong. if  He i s s i m p l y prompted t o r e c o n s i d e r h i s c h o i c e by b e i n g  t h e r e i s any o t h e r c h o i c e t h a t w i l l f i l l  the c e l l c o r r e c t l y .  asked  I f he were  t o l d c l e a r l y t h a t h i s c h o i c e i s wrong, he might c o n t i n u e w o r k i n g on t h e problem b u t as i t i s , he i s f r e e t o s t a y w i t h h i s o r i g i n a l c h o i c e .  When  asked t o j u s t i f y h i s c h o i c e , he can s i m p l y s t a t e t h a t " i t l o o k s r i g h t t h a t way."  I t may be argued, however, t h a t even though t h e c h i l d d i d n o t  understand t h e t a s k demands i n i t i a l l y , he may s t i l l be capable  of f i n d the  s o l u t i o n i f he i s made aware o f t h e c o r r e c t n e s s o r i n c o r r e c t n e s s o f h i s choices.  In short, then, the d i s c r i m i n a t i o n s h i f t task i s a l e a r n i n g task  f  w h i l e t h e m a t r i x o r c l a s s i f i c a t i o n t a s k s a r e methods o f a s s e s s i n g t h e c h i l d ' s understanding  o f a problem as i t i s p r e s e n t e d .  This difference i n  51  procedure would perhaps be considered unimportant i n Piaget's view because he would say that i f the c h i l d i s capable of doing the task, the usual questioning procedure should be s u f f i c i e n t to reveal'that c a p a b i l i t y . Whether the Piagetian tasks do reveal the child's i s a matter of some debate.  understanding  For instance, regarding the sorting task,  Inhelder and Piaget (1959) claimed that the subjects spontaneously i n t e r p r e t the instructions i n the most sophisticated manner of which they are capable. But Braine  (1962) disagreed and pointed out that i s i s impossible to be sure  that the subject has given the best response of which he i s capable.  Braine  argues that when the subject gives several correct sortings i t i s probably safe to conclude that he understands the abstract concept involved i n the expression "same kind" or " a l i k e . "  However, i f the subject does not sort  s a t i s f a c t o r i l y , one cannot be confident that he i s incapable of a better performance—at least "one has much less confidence than one has i n a learning task where correct responses are reinforced" (p. 43) .  2.  Verbal Requirements The other very important difference between the Piagetian tasks  and the s h i f t task i s that the former require verbal methods, while the l a t t e r does not depend on the child's understanding  of language.  The s h i f t  task i n the present study was preceded by a verbal introduction and the reinforcement  consisted of a "yes" or "no" from the experimenter, but the  subjects had no r e a l need to understand or use language i n the course of their performance. Braine  (1962) was also concerned about the use of verbal methods  in Piaget's problems.  He f e l t that when a c h i l d had to respond to words  whose meanings were not clear to him, h i s responses could not be properly  52  evaluated.  I n many t a s k s , i f t h e c h i l d understands t h e meaning o f t h e  v e r b a l i n s t r u c t i o n s , i t f o l l o w s t h a t he must u n d e r s t a n d t h e concept i n v o l v e d . For i n s t a n c e , when t h e e x p e r i m e n t e r r e f e r s t o " t h i n g s t h a t go t o g e t h e r , " i t may be i n t e r p r e t e d by t h e c h i l d as t h i n g s t h a t have t h e same a t t r i b u t e , i n which case he w i l l u n d e r s t a n d t h e c l a s s c o n c e p t .  But i f the experimenter's  words a r e i n t e r p r e t e d t o mean t h i n g s t h a t l o o k w e l l t o g e t h e r  and t h e c h i l d  responds t o t h a t meaning, i t does n o t n e c e s s a r i l y mean t h a t he i s i n c a p a b l e o f c l a s s i f y i n g o b j e c t s by t h e i r a t t r i b u t e s . K o f s k y (1966) a l s o p o i n t e d t o t h e e f f e c t o f d i f f e r i n g i n s t r u c t i o n s as one e x p l a n a t i o n scalogram s t u d y .  verbal  f o r t h e many i n c o n s i s t e n c i e s r e v e a l e d i n h e r  I n her o p i n i o n a l s o , tasks r e q u i r i n g the c h i l d t o  v e r b a l i z e a r e i n h e r e n t l y d i f f e r e n t from those r e q u i r i n g m a n i p u l a t i o n  of  material.  Previous 1.  S t u d i e s Which Found a Lack o f R e l a t i o n s h i p among Tasks  Smedslund The  l a c k o f correspondence o f r e s u l t s between t h e two P i a g e t i a n  tasks i n t h i s study i s not p a r t i c u l a r l y s u r p r i s i n g i n the l i g h t of e a r l i e r findings. concrete  Smedslund (1964) l o o k e d reasoning  were 5 - 8 - y e a r - o l d s .  f o r r e l a t i o n s h i p s among e i g h t t e s t s o f  adapted from P i a g e t and h i s c o l l a b o r a t o r s . One o f h i s t e s t s was s i m i l a r t o t h e m a t r i x  H i s subjects task.  In  t h i s , as i n t h e o t h e r t a s k s , he found t h a t s u b i t e m r e s p o n s e s were inconsistent.  Smedslund g e n e r a l l y found t h a t t h e r e was a low i n d e x o f  homogeneity among h i s s e t o f items and c o n c l u d e d t h a t " c o n c r e t e  reasoning  has a v e r y l i m i t e d g e n e r a l i t y d u r i n g t h e p e r i o d o f a c q u i s i t i o n . " On t h e  53  b a s i s o f h i s r e s u l t s he f e l t t h a t t h e r e was no c l e a r e v i d e n c e t h a t c h i l d r e n a p p l i e d t h e same i n f e r e n c e p a t t e r n s c o n s i s t e n t l y i n d i f f e r e n t t a s k s and with different  stimuli.  I n a l a t e r study Smedslund (1966) attempted t o keep t h e s t i m u l u s s i t u a t i o n s c o n s t a n t w h i l e v a r y i n g t h e i n f e r e n c e p a t t e r n s between t a s k s . He found t h a t t h e same l o g i c a l t a s k s t r u c t u r e w i t h i d e n t i c a l p e r c e p t u a l features s t i l l r e s u l t e d i n widely d i f f e r e n t s o l u t i o n frequencies.  One  f a c t o r which was found t o i n f l u e n c e r e s u l t s was t h e p o s i t i o n o f t h e t a s k i n the s e r i e s .  Smedslund concluded  t h a t t a s k s r e q u i r e d much more d e t a i l e d  a n a l y s i s b e f o r e making comparisons from them.  2.  F l a v e l l and W o h l w i l l I t i s n o t o n l y t h e t a s k s t h a t l e a d t o problems w i t h c o m p a r i s o n s ,  but the subjects themselves.  We can e x p e c t t o f i n d t h a t c h i l d r e n who a r e  i n t h e t r a n s i t i o n p e r i o d w i l l be i n c o n s i s t e n t i n t h e i r performance and W o h l w i l l , 1969).  (Flavell  S i n c e new s t r u c t u r e s a r e b e i n g formed, t h e c h i l d ' s  responses w i l l v a r y from one o c c a s i o n t o t h e n e x t and w i l l be p a r t i c u l a r l y susceptible to task-related variables.  P i a g e t h i m s e l f has d e s c r i b e d t h e  t r a n s i t i o n p e r i o d as one when s t a b i l i z a t i o n o c c u r s and has noted t h a t t h e r e are d i f f e r e n c e s i n performance a c r o s s t a s k s . d i f f e r e n c e s " h o r i z o n t a l decalages."  He has l a b e l l e d  these  U n f o r t u n a t e l y , he has n o t proposed  s p e c i f i c f a c t o r s t o account f o r them.  3.  K l a h r and W a l l a c e K l a h r and W a l l a c e (1970) hoped t o a r r i v e a t a more complete and  s p e c i f i c d e s c r i p t i o n o f the processes  u n d e r l y i n g performance on P i a g e t i a n  t a s k s by u s i n g an i n f o r m a t i o n p r o c e s s i n g a n a l y s i s . for  seven o f t h e c l a s s i f i c a t i o n t a s k s used by K o f s k y  They f o r m u l a t e d (1966).  routines  One o f these  54  was  the h o r i z o n t a l r e c l a s s i f i c a t i o n t a s k which i s the same as  c l a s s i f i c a t i o n t a s k i n the p r e s e n t s t u d y . an e x h a u s t i v e time."  the  They d e s c r i b e i t as  s o r t done t w i c e , w i t h a d i f f e r e n t c r i t e r i a l  T h e i r a n a l y s i s i s b r i e f l y as f o l l o w s :  "essentially  a t t r i b u t e each  A t f i r s t the r o u t i n e n o t i c e s  an o b j e c t , then a v a l u e of the o b j e c t , and then the a t t r i b u t e o f noticed value. exhaustive  The  a t t r i b u t e then c o n t r o l s the f i r s t s o r t .  the  A f t e r the  first  s o r t i s completed, the e x p e r i m e n t e r i n t e r v e n e s t o reassemble the  s t i m u l i and t o g i v e f u r t h e r i n s t r u c t i o n s , such as " I want you t o p u t b l o c k s t o g e t h e r a d i f f e r e n t way."  the  The r o u t i n e s h i f t s a t t e n t i o n from o b j e c t  to v a l u e t o a t t r i b u t e once more, b u t w i t h an added s t e p t o ensure t h a t the same a t t r i b u t e i s not used a g a i n f o r the second s o r t . Such a r o u t i n e has the l i m i t a t i o n t h a t t h e r e i s no e n c o d i n g o f the p h y s i c a l s i t u a t i o n , the l i n g u i s t i c r e q u i r e m e n t s , m o t i v a t i o n a l and a t t e n t i o n a l f a c t o r s . though the r e a s o n i n g p r o c e s s e s  or i n t e r a c t i o n s o f  K l a h r and W a l l a c e concluded  i n a s e t o f t a s k s may  be p a r a l l e l ,  attempt t o remove sources o f v a r i a t i o n between t a s k s may  t h a t even any  be doomed t o  f a i l u r e because m o t i v a t i o n a l and a t t e n t i o n a l f a c t o r s a r e always p r e s e n t w i l l produce i n c o n s i s t e n c y .  and  T h e i r c o n c l u s i o n would appear t o be v a l i d f o r  the t a s k s used h e r e .  4.  Kofsky Going back t o the K o f s k y  (1966) s t u d y , the r e s u l t s o b t a i n e d  appeared t o s u p p o r t the K l a h r and W a l l a c e a n a l y s i s .  Kofsky  found  little  c o n s i s t e n c y i n her s u b j e c t s ' performance not o n l y between t a s k s b u t on one  task.  Exhaustive  there  any  She n o t e d t h a t many s u b j e c t s f a i l e d the two s o r t i n g t a s k s , S o r t i n g and H o r i z o n t a l R e c l a s s i f i c a t i o n , e i t h e r because they were  unable t o form c o n s i s t e n t c l a s s e s o r because they c o u l d not use the  specific  55 r u l e r e q u i r e d by the t a s k . who  Kofsky hypothesized  t h a t the younger c h i l d r e n  f a i l e d s h o u l d have done so because they were i n c o n s i s t e n t s o r t e r s b u t  such was  not the c a s e .  form more than one s u b j e c t s but i t was  She a l s o n o t e d t h a t t h e o r e t i c a l l y the i n a b i l i t y  t a s k a t a time s h o u l d be more f r e q u e n t among younger not.  K o f s k y suggested s e v e r a l reasons why  her study d i d not  support  the i d e a o f a f i x e d sequence o f s t a g e s i n a c q u i r i n g c l a s s i f i c a t i o n One  r e a s o n was  because t h e y do n o t f e e l a need t o be c o n s i s t e n t .  F o r t h i s r e a s o n a b r i e f sample of t h e i r b e h a v i o u r may r e l i a b l e measure o f t h e i r a b i l i t i e s . simplest s k i l l s probably  Therefore  ability.  t h a t young c h i l d r e n are as a g e n e r a l r u l e u n r e l i a b l e i n  t h e i r performance p r o b a b l y  w h i c h they may  to  not p r o v i d e  A n o t h e r p o i n t was  a  t h a t even the  r e q u i r e a f a i r l y long p e r i o d of c o n s o l i d a t i o n during  be used c o r r e c t l y i n some s i t u a t i o n s but not i n o t h e r s .  i t w i l l be d i f f i c u l t t o d e c i d e  degree o f mastery on any two  tasks.  i f a c h i l d has a c h i e v e d  the same  As f o r the t a s k s t h e m s e l v e s , v a r i a t i o n s  i n i n s t r u c t i o n s and m a t e r i a l c o u l d be a p o s s i b l e s t r o n g i n f l u e n c e on performance.  5.  Campione and Brown Other s t u d i e s have shown t h a t where t a s k s r e q u i r e the same r u l e  knowledge, k i n d e r g a r t e n - a g e  c h i l d r e n do not e f f e c t i v e l y t r a n s f e r t h a t  knowledge from one  t a s k t o another of a d i f f e r e n t format (Campione  Brown, 1974) .  s t r u c t u r e o f the t a s k i t s e l f i s seemingly a p a r t o f  problem.  The  Campione and Brown found i n t h e i r r e s e a r c h t h a t t r a n s f e r  g r e a t e r when the same s t i m u l i were used i n t r a i n i n g and t r a n s f e r . f i n d i n g s l e d t o t h e i r c o n t e x t u a l elements h y p o t h e s i s . says t h a t c o n t e x t u a l cues p r e s e n t  This  and the  was These  hypothesis  d u r i n g t r a i n i n g s e r v e as r e t r i e v a l cues  56  t o determine which a s p e c t s o f the s i t u a t i o n t o r e t a i n and use on subsequent problems.  Such cues may  f a v o u r t r a n s f e r o r work a g a i n s t i t .  I n the case o f the s u b j e c t s used i n the p r e s e n t e x p e r i m e n t , they were f a m i l i a r w i t h the s o r t o f s t i m u l i used i n the study because the k i n d e r g a r t e n t e a c h e r had used s i m i l a r g e o m e t r i c forms i n a p e r c e p t u a l t r a i n i n g programme. designs.  The  c h i l d r e n had used these shapes t o c r e a t e v a r i o u s  T h i s type o f a c t i v i t y may  have l e d them t o approach the  c l a s s i f i c a t i o n and m a t r i x t a s k s as problems w h i c h demanded d e s i g n c r e a t i o n . A t any r a t e , c r e a t i n g d e s i g n s was responses i n these t a s k s .  one o f the most f r e q u e n t i n c o r r e c t  A c e r t a i n amount o f p r o m p t i n g was  used t o d i v e r t  them from t h i s type o f response w i t h v a r y i n g degrees o f s u c c e s s . experience  the c h i l d r e n had had w i t h p e r c e p t u a l t r a i n i n g may  The  have c o n t r i b u t e d  t o the f a c t t h a t most o f them were q u i t e competent i n c l a s s i f y i n g t o shape, c o l o u r and s i z e u s i n g these dimensions one a t a t i m e . the t a s k s r e q u i r e d the simultaneous t h i s was  a new  problem f o r them.  according However,  d i s c r i m i n a t i o n o f two d i m e n s i o n s  F o r some c h i l d r e n n e g a t i v e t r a n s f e r may  have been o p e r a t i n g t o cause them t o respond i n an accustomed way o f t o the e x p e r i m e n t e r ' s  and  instead  instructions.  The V a l u e o f F u r t h e r E x p l o r a t i o n o f the Problem  I t i s e v i d e n t t h a t numbers o f r e s e a r c h e r s have e n c o u n t e r e d d i f f i c u l t y when comparing v a r i o u s t a s k s t o f i n d out about c h i l d r e n ' s c o g n i t i v e development.  I t seems t h a t the t a s k s t r u c t u r e , s t i m u l u s  language, e t c . , are always p a r t o f the problem a l o n g w i t h the concept, r u l e or inference p a t t e r n t h a t i s being s t u d i e d .  values,  specific  Nevertheless, i t  s h o u l d be p o s s i b l e t o a s s e s s the r o l e o f a l l these f a c t o r s more p r e c i s e l y  57 and t o s t r u c t u r e experiments so t h a t t h e r e a r e fewer v a r i a b l e s t o contend with.  F o r t h i s end, the P i a g e t i a n t a s k s p r e s e n t q u i t e a c h a l l e n g e .  Although  t h e r e have been attempts t o c r e a t e more s t a n d a r d i z e d forms, i t  seems t h a t much more c o u l d be done i n t h i s a r e a .  There a l s o appear t o be  e n d l e s s p o s s i b i l i t i e s i n b r i n g i n g t o g e t h e r b e h a v i o u r i s t methodology Piagetian  and  theory. One  study u s i n g such an approach was  O'Connor and S t e r n  undertaken by G h o l s o n ,  (1976) i n o r d e r t o i n v e s t i g a t e the r e l a t i o n s h i p between  the c h i l d ' s P i a g e t i a n stage l e v e l and h i s method o f s o l v i n g d i s c r i m i n a t i o n problems.  These were s i m p l e d i s c r i m i n a t i o n problems o f the s o r t used i n  the f i r s t phase o f the s h i f t t a s k . the type o f h y p o t h e s i s the c h i l d was  The  i n v e s t i g a t o r s were i n t e r e s t e d i n  u s i n g ; e.g.,  position alternation, focusing, etc.  stimulus  preference,  This i s a d i f f e r e n t l i n e of  i n v e s t i g a t i o n from the p r e s e n t study b u t the r e s u l t s are s u g g e s t i v e . authors found s t r o n g s u p p o r t is  The  f o r the P i a g e t i a n view t h a t c o g n i t i v e a b i l i t y  (at l e a s t i n p a r t ) stage dependent.  However, t h e r e was  a l s o support  for  the h y p o t h e s i s t h a t s t i m u l u s d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n t r a i n i n g w i t h feedback would improve performance.  The a u t h o r s suggested t h a t a s y n t h e s i s o f the P i a g e t i a n  p e r s p e c t i v e and c o n v e n t i o n a l l e a r n i n g t h e o r y was  required to describe  d e v e l o p m e n t a l phenomena r e l a t i n g t o problem s o l v i n g .  R e s u l t s o f I n d i v i d u a l Tasks 1.  The C l a s s i f i c a t i o n Task The  suggested two  r e s u l t s of the c l a s s i f i c a t i o n t a s k used i n t h i s sources o f d i f f i c u l t y f o r these s u b j e c t s .  study  The m a j o r i t y o f  the c h i l d r e n c o u l d do a one-way c l a s s i f i c a t i o n w i t h a l l t h r e e s t i m u l u s s e t s  58  b u t when asked t o c l a s s i f y t h e s e t a d i f f e r e n t way, t h e p e r c e n t a g e o f s u c c e s s f u l responses immediately 41.1%  dropped t o 52.8% f o r one c o r r e c t s e t ,  f o r two, and 23.5% f o r a l l t h r e e s e t s .  d i m e n s i o n was a major source o f d i f f i c u l t y .  Thus s o r t i n g on a new T h i s problem o f s h i f t i n g the  c r i t e r i a f o r s o r t i n g was d e s c r i b e d by K o f s k y and O s i e r p r i n c i p a l reason f o r f a i l u r e f o r t h e i r 5-year-old  (1967) as t h e  subjects.  I t i s a l s o apparent from the d i s t r i b u t i o n o f s c o r e s  (Table I I I ,  p. 47) t h a t t h e s t i m u l u s dimensions ( c o l o u r , s i z e , form) were a n o t h e r f a c t o r a f f e c t i n g s o l u t i o n ; o t h e r w i s e , i f the c h i l d c o u l d do one two-way c l a s s i f i c a t i o n he s h o u l d have been a b l e t o do them a l l .  The f a c t o r o p e r a t -  i n g here might be e x p l a i n e d i n terms o f p e r c e p t u a l s a l i e n c e (Odom, A s t o r and Cunningham, 1965).  Odom found t h a t when t h e s o l u t i o n - r e l e v a n t  i n f o r m a t i o n was h i g h l y s a l i e n t f o r t h e c h i l d , performance was improved. A l s o , when r e l e v a n t i n f o r m a t i o n was low i n s a l i e n c e , s o l u t i o n s were r e t a r d e d . The p e r c e p t u a l s a l i e n c e view c o u l d be advanced as a p o s s i b l e e x p l a n a t i o n f o r the i n c o n s i s t e n t r e s u l t s o b t a i n e d by t h e c h i l d r e n i n t h i s e x p e r i m e n t .  If  the d i m e n s i o n was s a l i e n t f o r them, they c o u l d a c h i e v e a s o l u t i o n b u t i f i t was n o t s u f f i c i e n t l y s a l i e n t , they  failed.  I t i s n o t easy t o see how t h e d i f f i c u l t y o f c o u l d be e x p l a i n e d i n terms o f m e d i a t i o n perceptual d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n  reclassification  (Kendler and K e n d l e r , 1962) o r  (Tighe and T i g h e , 1968) s i n c e most s u b j e c t s were  a b l e t o d e a l w i t h t h e v e r y same s t i m u l u s dimensions i n the one-way classification.  However, a t t e n t i o n t h e o r y may be a b l e t o o f f e r a t l e a s t a  p a r t i a l explanation.  The c h i l d r e n c o u l d be s a i d t o have t r o u b l e a t t e n d i n g  to the r e l e v a n t s t i m u l i f o r r e c l a s s i f i c a t i o n .  Having chosen t o s o r t f i r s t  on the b a s i s o f one a t t r i b u t e such as s i z e , they t h e n had d i f f i c u l t y changing the f o c u s o f t h e i r a t t e n t i o n t o a new a t t r i b u t e such as form.  59  The K l a h r and W a l l a c e (1970) i n f o r m a t i o n p r o c e s s i n g a n a l y s i s agrees w i t h the n o t i o n t h a t a t t e n t i o n a l mechanisms a r e c r u c i a l i n t h i s t a s k . P i a g e t , o f c o u r s e , has o b s e r v e d t h i s problem and d e s c r i b e d i t i n terms o f " a b s t r a c t i n g t h e c r i t e r i a o f a c l a s s i f i c a t i o n " P i a g e t , 1964) .  ( I n h e l d e r and  He e x p l a i n s t h a t t h e l o g i c i n v o l v e d i n t h i s o p e r a t i o n grows  out o f t h e a c t i o n s o f g r o u p i n g  and r e g r o u p i n g .  I t i s also possible to  t h i n k o f the a c t i o n s o f the c h i l d i n grouping  and r e g r o u p i n g  increased a t t e n t i o n to the relevant s t i m u l i .  I f t h i s i s s o , then t h e  o p p o r t u n i t y t o l e a r n from e x p e r i e n c e would be an i m p o r t a n t c h i l d ' s success  i n t h i s task.  f a c t o r i n the  I t would a l s o be t h e case t h a t a t t e n t i o n  t h e o r y and P i a g e t a r e i n agreement i n t h i s  2.  as l e a d i n g t o  matter.  The M a t r i x Task The m a t r i x t a s k produced a b i m o d a l d i s t r i b u t i o n o f r e s u l t s ;  the  c h i l d r e n e i t h e r performed v e r y w e l l (32% w i t h p e r f e c t s c o r e s ) o r q u i t e poorly  (23.5% s c o r e d 1 o r 0 p o i n t s ) .  no r e a l u n d e r s t a n d i n g  The low s c o r e r s c o u l d be s a i d t o have  o f t h e m a t r i x s i n c e they c o u l d have o b t a i n e d  one p o i n t s i m p l y by g u e s s i n g .  I t s h o u l d a l s o be noted t h a t m a t r i x  r e s u l t s d i d not c o r r e l a t e with the c l a s s i f i c a t i o n task, although a n a l y s i s suggested t h a t s i m i l a r p r o c e s s e s  their task  Piaget's  were i n v o l v e d i n b o t h .  These  f a c t s suggest t h a t t h e m a t r i x may p r e s e n t s p e c i a l problems f o r c h i l d r e n because o f i t s format.  I t may be t h a t c h i l d r e n r e q u i r e some e x p e r i e n c e  with  the g r i d p a t t e r n and some s p e c i a l i n s t r u c t i o n s on t h e i d e a o f p a r a l l e l i s m i n b o t h t h e rows and columns b e f o r e they can master t h i s t a s k . by Overton and B r o d z i n s k y  (1972) s u p p o r t s  The s t u d y  t h i s argument s i n c e they  found  t h a t a l i n e a r arrangement o f t h e s t i m u l i and s p e c i a l i n s t r u c t i o n s on t h e r u l e i n v o l v e d l e d t o s i g n i f i c a n t l y more s o l u t i o n s .  60  3.  The R e v e r s a l S h i f t Task During the course o f a d m i n i s t e r i n g the r e v e r s a l s h i f t task some  i n t e r e s t i n g responses were noted.  I n the i n i t i a l phase o f the t a s k , the  i d e a o f c o n t i n u i t y l e a r n i n g was- n o t borne out w i t h most c h i l d r e n . I n v e s t i g a t i o n o f the p r o t o c o l s r e v e a l e d t h a t most c h i l d r e n responded  at a  chance l e v e l up t o a c e r t a i n p o i n t , then seemed t o a r r i v e a t a c o r r e c t h y p o t h e s i s and s o l v e the d i s c r i m i n a t i o n . The K e n d l e r s ' m e d i a t i o n a l h y p o t h e s i s was supported by the p a t t e r n of  responses on the second phase o f the s h i f t .  cases of  I n the g r e a t m a j o r i t y o f  (71%) the second d i s c r i m i n a t i o n was s o l v e d w i t h i n 20 t r i a l s .  I n 53%  c a s e s , c r i t e r i o n was a t t a i n e d w i t h i n 11 t r i a l s , meaning t h a t a f t e r the  c h i l d guessed  c o r r e c t l y o r i n c o r r e c t l y on the f i r s t t r i a l , the remaining  responses were c o r r e c t .  T h i s f i n d i n g suggests t h a t these c h i l d r e n  r e v e r s e d t h e i r p r e v i o u s c o r r e c t response.  rapidly  However, when t h e experiment  c o n t i n u e d w i t h a d d i t i o n a l s t i m u l i these s u b j e c t s d i d n o t always end up b e i n g c l a s s e d as r e v e r s e r s .  T h i s response p a t t e r n a l o n g w i t h v a r i o u s comments  made by the c h i l d r e n i n d i c a t e d t h a t some o f them were u s i n g more e l a b o r a t e hypotheses  than n e c e s s a r y f o r t h i s t a s k .  Some o f them may have abandoned  t h e i r r e v e r s a l response when they observed the i n t r o d u c t i o n o f new  stimuli.  Summary  While  the t a s k s c o n s i d e r e d i n d i v i d u a l l y produced  results i n  agreement w i t h p r e v i o u s s t u d i e s , the expected r e l a t i o n s h i p s among them were not supported by the e v i d e n c e .  The absence o f s u p p o r t i n g evidence may have  been due t o the r e s t r i c t e d age range o f the s u b j e c t s .  But, i n g e n e r a l ,  61  those who performed w e l l on one t a s k d i d n o t n e c e s s a r i l y do w e l l on t h e others. CD  Some reasons have been suggested f o r t h i s l a c k o f agreement:  d i f f e r e n c e s i n t a s k f o r m a t , (2) d i f f e r e n c e s i n v e r b a l r e q u i r e m e n t s ,  (3) d i f f e r e n c e s i n the a t t e n t i o n a l r e q u i r e m e n t s o f t a s k s ,  (4) d i f f e r e n c e s  i n s k i l l s , knowledge and s e t s t r a n s f e r r e d from o t h e r t a s k s , factors,  (6) l a c k o f c o n s i s t e n c y  (5) m o t i v a t i o n a l  i n c h i l d r e n ' s performance.  A l t h o u g h t h e r e s u l t s o f t h i s study were i n c o n c l u s i v e , i t d i d suggest a v a l u e i n a t t e m p t i n g t o i n t e g r a t e methods and hypotheses from the t r a d i t i o n a l l e a r n i n g t h e o r y approach w i t h P i a g e t i a n methods and Both s c h o o l s  theory.  have c o n t r i b u t e d t o o u r u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f t h e way c h i l d r e n l e a r n  concepts and c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s .  A v a r i e t y o f t h e o r e t i c a l v i e w p o i n t s may, i n  f a c t , be n e c e s s a r y t o a c h i e v e f u r t h e r i n s i g h t i n t o c h i l d r e n ' s  learning.  62  BIBLIOGRAPHY B r a i n e , M.D.S. P i a g e t on r e a s o n i n g : A m e t h o d o l o g i c a l c r i t i q u e and a l t e r n a t i v e p r o p o s a l s . I n W. Kessen and C. Kuhlman (Eds.) Thought i n the young c h i l d . Chicago: U n i v e r s i t y of Chicago P r e s s , 1962. Brown, R. W. and B e r k o , J . Word a s s o c i a t i o n and the a c q u i s i t i o n o f grammar. C h i l d Development, 1960, 31^, 1-14. B r u n e r , J . S. and Kenney, H. J . On m u l t i p l e o r d e r i n g . I n J . S. B r u n e r e t a l . (Eds.) S t u d i e s i n c o g n i t i v e growth. New York: W i l e y , 1966. Buss, A. H. R e v e r s a l and n o n r e v e r s a l s h i f t s i n concept f o r m a t i o n w i t h p a r t i a l reinforcement e l i m i n a t e d . J o u r n a l of Experimental Psychology, 1956, 52!, 162-166. Campione, J . C. O p t i o n a l i n t r a d i m e n s i o n a l and e x t r a d i m e n s i o n a l s h i f t s i n c h i l d r e n as a f u n c t i o n o f age. J o u r n a l of Experimental Psychology, 1970, 84, 296-300. Campione, J . C. and Brown, A. L. The e f f e c t s o f c o n t e x t u a l change and degree o f component mastery on t r a n s f e r of t r a i n i n g . I n H. W. Reese (Ed.) Advances i n c h i l d development and b e h a v i o r . V o l . 9. New Y o r k : Academic P r e s s , 1974. Campione, J . C , Hyman, L. and Zeaman, D. D i m e n s i o n a l s h i f t s and r e v e r s a l s i n r e t a r d a t e d i s c r i m i n a t i o n l e a r n i n g . .Journal o f E x p e r i m e n t a l C h i l d P s y c h o l o g y , 1965, 2^, 255-263. C o l e , M. A d e v e l o p m e n t a l study o f f a c t o r s i n f l u e n c i n g d i s c r i m i n a t i o n t r a n s f e r . J o u r n a l of E x p e r i m e n t a l C h i l d P s y c h o l o g y , 1973, 16, 126-147. D i c k e r s o n , D. J . Performance o f p r e s c h o o l c h i l d r e n on t h r e e d i s c r i m i n a t i o n s h i f t s . Psychonomic S c i e n c e , 1966, 4_, 417-418. Eimas, P. D. E f f e c t s o f o v e r t r a i n i n g and age on i n t r a d i m e n s i o n a l and extradimensional s h i f t s i n c h i l d r e n . Journal of Experimental C h i l d P s y c h o l o g y , 1966, 3_, 348-355. Eimas, P. D. O p t i o n a l s h i f t b e h a v i o r i n c h i l d r e n as a f u n c t i o n o f o v e r t r a i n i n g , i r r e l e v a n t s t i m u l i , and age. Journal of Experimental C h i l d P s y c h o l o g y , 1967, 5_, 332-340. F l a v e l l , J . H. and W o h l w i l l , J . F. Formal and f u n c t i o n a l a s p e c t s o f c o g n i t i v e development. I n D. E l k i n d and J . H. F l a v e l l (Eds.) S t u d i e s i n c o g n i t i v e development: E s s a y s i n honor of J e a n P i a g e t . New York: O x f o r d U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1969.  63  G h o l s o n , B . , O ' C o n n o r , J . a n d S t e r n , I. H y p o t h e s i s s a m p l i n g s y s t e m s among p r e o p e r a t i o n a l and c o n c r e t e o p e r a t i o n a l k i n d e r g a r t e n c h i l d r e n . J o u r n a l of Experimental C h i l d Psychology, 1976, 22, 6 1 - 7 6 . G i b s o n , E. J . P r i n c i p l e s o f p e r c e p t u a l l e a r n i n g and d e v e l o p m e n t . A p p l e t o n - C e n t u r y - C r o f t s , 1969. Gibson, J . J . Mifflin,  The p e r c e p t i o n o f 1950.  the v i s u a l w o r l d .  Boston:  Gibson, J . J . P e r c e p t i o n as a f u n c t i o n o f s t i m u l a t i o n . In Psychology: A study of a s c i e n c e . V o l . 1. New Y o r k : 1959, pp. 457-501.  New Y o r k :  Houghton  S . Koch (Ed.) McGraw-Hill,  G o l l i n , E. S . and S a r a v o , A . A . A developmental a n a l y s i s of l e a r n i n g . I n J . H e l l m u t h (Ed.) Cognitive studies. V o l . 1. New Y o r k : Bruner, Mazel, 1971. Hull,  C . I. 1943.  P r i n c i p l e s of behavior.  New Y o r k :  Appleton-Century-Crofts,  I n h e l d e r , B. and P i a g e t , J . The g r o w t h o f l o g i c a l t h i n k i n g f r o m to adolescence. New Y o r k : Basic Books, 1958. I n h e l d e r , B. and P i a g e t , J . The e a r l y New Y o r k : H a r p e r & Row, 1 9 6 4 .  growth of  l o g i c i n the  childhood  child.  J o h n s o n , P . J . a n d W h i t e , R. M. Concept o f d i m e n s i o n a l i t y and r e v e r s a l s h i f t performance i n c h i l d r e n . J o u r n a l of Experimental C h i l d P s y c h o l o g y , 1 9 6 7 , 5_, 2 2 3 - 2 2 7 . K e l l e h e r , R. I. D i s c r i m i n a t i o n l e a r n i n g as a f u n c t i o n o f r e v e r s a l and nonreversal s h i f t s . Journal of Experimental Psychology, 1956, 5 1 , 379-384. K e n d l e r , H. H . a n d D ' A m a t o , M. F . A c o m p a r i s o n o f r e v e r s a l s h i f t s and n o n r e v e r s a l s h i f t s i n human c o n c e p t f o r m a t i o n b e h a v i o r . Journa of Experimental Psychology, 1955, 49, 165-179. K e n d l e r , H . H . , G l a s m a n , L . D. a n d W a r d , J . W. V e r b a l l a b e l l i n g a n d cue-training in reversal s h i f t behavior. J o u r n a l of E x p e r i m e n t a l P s y c h o l o g y , 1 9 7 2 , 13_, 1 9 5 - 2 0 9 . K e n d l e r , H . H . , H i r s c h b e r g , M. A . a n d W o l f o r d , G . Spence's p r e d i c t i o n reversal s h i f t behavior. P s y c h o l o g i c a l R e v i e w , 1 9 7 1 , 78, 3 5 4 . K e n d l e r , H. H. and K e n d l e r , T. S . V e r t i c a l and h o r i z o n t a l p r o c e s s e s problem s o l v i n g . P s y c h o l o g i c a l Review, 1962, 69, 1-16. K e n d l e r , H. H. and K e n d l e r , T. I n K. W. S p e n c e a n d J . T . and m o t i v a t i o n . V o l , 2.  Child  about  in  S. M e d i a t i o n and c o n c e p t u a l b e h a v i o r . Spence (Eds.) The p s y c h o l o g y o f l e a r n i n g New Y o r k : Academic P r e s s , 1968.  64  K e n d l e r , H. H. and K e n d l e r , T. S. R e v e r s a l s h i f t b e h a v i o r : i s s u e s . P s y c h o l o g i c a l B u l l e t i n , 1969, T2_, 229-232.  Some b a s i c  K e n d l e r , H. H. and K e n d l e r , T. S. From d i s c r i m i n a t i o n l e a r n i n g t o c o g n i t i v e development: A n e o b e h a v i o r i s t odyssey. I n W. K. E s t e s (Ed.) Handbook o f l e a r n i n g and c o g n i t i v e p r o c e s s e s . V o l . 1. Hillsdale, N. J . : E r l b a u n A s s o c i a t e s , 1975. K e n d l e r , H. H., K e n d l e r , T. S., and Sanders, J . R e v e r s a l and p a r t i a l r e v e r s a l s h i f t s w i t h v e r b a l m a t e r i a l . J o u r n a l of V e r b a l Learning V e r b a l B e h a v i o r , 1967, 6, 117-127.  and  K e n d l e r , H. H., K e n d l e r , T. S., and Ward, J . W. An o n t o g e n i c a n a l y s i s of o p t i o n a l i n t r a d i m e n s i o n a l and e x t r a d i m e n s i o n a l s h i f t s . J o u r n a l o f E x p e r i m e n t a l P s y c h o l o g y , 1972, 95_, 102-109. K e n d l e r , T. S. Development o f m e d i a t i n g responses i n c h i l d r e n . In J . C. W r i g h t and J . Kagan (Eds.) B a s i c c o g n i t i v e p r o c e s s e s i n c h i l d r e n . Monographs o f the S o c i e t y f o r Research i n C h i l d Development, 1963 ( S e r i a l No. 86). K e n d l e r , T. S. V e r b a l i z a t i o n and o p t i o n a l r e v e r s a l s h i f t s among k i n d e r g a r t e n c h i l d r e n . J o u r n a l o f V e r b a l L e a r n i n g and V e r b a l B e h a v i o r , 1964, 2_, 428-436. K e n d l e r , T. S. C o n t i n u i t y t h e o r y and cue dominance. I n H. H. K e n d l e r J . T. Spence (Eds.) E s s a y s i n n e o b e h a v i o r i s m . New York: A p p l e t o n - C e n t u r y - C r o f t s , 1971.  and  K e n d l e r , T. S. A two-stage t h e o r y o f r c o g n i t i v e development. I n F. J . Monks, W. W. H a r t u p , and J . deWit (Eds.) D e t e r m i n a n t s of b e h a v i o r a l development. New York: Academic P r e s s , 1972 K e n d l e r , T. S. The e f f e c t o f t r a i n i n g and s t i m u l u s v a r i a b l e s on the r e v e r s a l - s h i f t ontogeny. J o u r n a l o f E x p e r i m e n t a l C h i l d P s y c h o l o g y , 1974, 17, 87-106. K e n d l e r , T. S. and K e n d l e r , H. H. C h i l d Development, 1970, £1,  An ontogeny o f o p t i o n a l s h i f t 1-27.  behavior.  K e n d l e r , T. S., K e n d l e r , H. H., and L e a r n a r , B. M e d i a t e d responses t o s i z e and b r i g h t n e s s as a f u n c t i o n o f age. American J o u r n a l o f P s y c h o l o g y , 1962, 7, 571-586.  65  K e n d l e r , T. S., K e n d l e r , H. H., and W e l l s , H. R e v e r s a l and n o n r e v e r s a l s h i f t s i n n u r s e r y s c h o o l c h i l d r e n . J o u r n a l o f Comparative P h y s i o l o g i c a l P s y c h o l o g y , 1960, 53^, 83-88. K e n d l e r , T. S. and Ward, J . W. O p t i o n a l r e v e r s a l p r o b a b i l i t y i s a l i n e a r f u n c t i o n o f t h e l o g o f age. Developmental P s y c h o l o g y , 1972, 1_, 337-348. K l a h r , D. and W a l l a c e , J . G. An i n f o r m a t i o n p r o c e s s i n g a n a l y s i s o f some P i a g e t i a n e x p e r i m e n t a l t a s k s . C o g n i t i v e P s y c h o l o g y , 1970, jL, 358-387. K o f s k y , E. A scalogram study o f c l a s s i f i c a t o r y development. Development, 1966, 37_, 191-204. K o f s k y , E. and O s i e r , S. F. F r e e c l a s s i f i c a t i o n i n c h i l d r e n . Development, 1967, 38, 927-937.  Child Child  Kuenne, M. R. E x p e r i m e n t a l i n v e s t i g a t i o n o f t h e r e l a t i o n o f language t o t r a n s p o s i t i o n b e h a v i o r i n young c h i l d r e n . J o u r n a l o f E x p e r i m e n t a l P s y c h o l o g y , 1946, 36_, 471-490. L u r i a , A. R. C o g n i t i v e development: I t s c u l t u r a l and s o c i a l f o u n d a t i o n s . Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1976. M a c k i n t o s h , N. J . S e l e c t i v e a t t e n t i o n i n a n i m a l d i s c r i m i n a t i o n l e a r n i n g . P s y c h o l o g i c a l B u l l e t i n , 1965, 64_, 124-150. M c C o n n e l l , O. I . P e r c e p t u a l v e r s u s v e r b a l m e d i a t i o n i n t h e concept o f c h i l d r e n . C h i l d Development, 1964, 35_, 1373-1383.  learning  Mumbauer, C. C. and Odom, R. D. V a r i a b l e a f f e c t i n g t h e performance o f p r e s c h o o l c h i l d r e n i n i n t r a d i m e n s i o n a l , r e v e r s a l , and e x t r a d i m e n s i o n a l s h i f t s . J o u r n a l o f E x p e r i m e n t a l P s y c h o l o g y , 1967, 75, 180-187. Odom, R. D. A p e r c e p t u a l s a l i e n c e account o f d e c a l a g e r e l a t i o n s and d e v e l o p m e n t a l change. I n L. S. S i e g e l and C. J . B r a i n e r d (Eds.) A l t e r n a t i v e s t o P i a g e t . New York: Academic P r e s s , 1978. Odom, R. D., A s t o r , E. C , and Cunningham, J . G. E f f e c t s o f p e r c e p t u a l s a l i e n c e on t h e m a t r i x t a s k performance o f f o u r - and s i x - y e a r - o l d c h i l d r e n . C h i l d Development, 1975, 46_, 758-762. Odom, R. D. and Mumbauer, C. C. D i m e n s i o n a l s a l i e n c e and i d e n t i f i c a t i o n o f the r e l e v a n t d i m e n s i o n i n problem s o l v i n g : A developmental s t u d y . Developmental P s y c h o l o g y , 1971, 4_, 135-140. Osgood, C. E. Method and t h e o r y i n e x p e r i m e n t a l p s y c h o l o g y . O x f o r d U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1953.  London:  O v e r t o n , W. F. and B r o d z i n s k y , D. P e r c e p t u a l and l o g i c a l f a c t o r s i n t h e development o f m u l t i p l i c a t i v e c l a s s i f i c a t i o n . Developmental P s y c h o l o g y , 1972, 6, 104-109.  66  Piaget, J . 1950.  The p s y c h o l o g y o f i n t e l l i g e n c e .  Piaget, J .  Six psychological studies.  P i a g e t , J . and I n h e l d e r , B. B a s i c Books, 1969.  New  New York:  York:  Harcourt, Brace,  Random House,  The p s y c h o l o g y o f the c h i l d .  New  1964.  York:  P i a g e t , J . and I n h e l d e r , B. I n t e l l e c t u a l o p e r a t i o n s and t h e i r development. I n I . J . Athey and D. O. Rubadeau (Eds.) E d u c a t i o n a l i m p l i c a t i o n s o f P i a g e t ' s t h e o r y . Waltham, Mass.: G i n n - B l a i s d e l l , 1970. R a z r a n , G.H.S. C o n d i t i o n e d responses i n c h i l d r e n : A b e h a v i o r a l and q u a n t i t a t i v e c r i t i c a l review of experimental studies. Archives of P s y c h o l o g y , 1933 (No. 148). S a l t z , E. and S i g e l , I . E. Concept o f o v e r d i s c r i m i n a t i o n i n c h i l d r e n . J o u r n a l o f E x p e r i m e n t a l P s y c h o l o g y , 1967, 12_, 1-8. Smedslund, J . Concrete r e a s o n i n g : A study of i n t e l l e c t u a l development. Monographs o f the S o c i e t y f o r Research i n C h i l d Development, 1964. S m i l e y , S. S. and W e i r , N. W. The r o l e o f d i m e n s i o n a l dominance i n r e v e r s a l and n o n r e v e r s a l s h i f t b e h a v i o r . J o u r n a l o f E x p e r i m e n t a l C h i l d P s y c h o l o g y , 1966, 4_, 296-307. S u t h e r l a n d , N. S. S t i m u l u s a n a l y z i n g mechanisms. I n P r o c e e d i n g s o f a symposium on the m e c h a n i z a t i o n o f thought p r o c e s s e s . London: Her M a j e s t y ' s S t a t i o n e r y O f f i c e , 1959. T i g h e , L. S. shifts.  E f f e c t o f p e r c e p t u a l p r e t r a i n i n g on r e v e r s a l and n o n r e v e r s a l J o u r n a l o f E x p e r i m e n t a l P s y c h o l o g y , 1965, 10_, 379-385.  T i g h e , T. J . Subproblem a n a l y s i s o f d i s c r i m i n a t i o n l e a r n i n g . I n G. H. Bower (Ed.) The p s y c h o l o g y of l e a r n i n g and m o t i v a t i o n . New York: Academic P r e s s , 1973.  V o l . 7.  T i g h e , T. J . , G l i c k , J . and C o l e , M. Subproblem a n a l y s i s o f d i s c r i m i n a t i o n s h i f t l e a r n i n g . Psychonomic S c i e n c e , 1971, 24, 159-160. T i g h e , T. J . and T i g h e , L. S. D i f f e r e n t i a t i o n t h e o r y and c o n c e p t - s h i f t b e h a v i o r . P s y c h o l o g i c a l B u l l e t i n , 1968, 70_, 756-761. T i g h e , T. J . and T i g h e , L. S. R e v e r s a l p r i o r t o s o l u t i o n of concept i d e n t i f i c a t i o n i n c h i l d r e n . J o u r n a l of E x p e r i m e n t a l C h i l d P s y c h o l o g y , 1972, 13, 488-501. T r a b a s s o , T. R. and Bower, G. H. New York: W i l e y , 1968. V y g o t s k y , L. F.  Attention i n learning:  Thought and language.  Cambridge, Mass.:  Theory and r e s e a r c h .  MIT P r e s s ,  1962.  67  White, S. H. E v i d e n c e f o r a h i e r a r c h i c a l arrangement o f l e a r n i n g p r o c e s s e s . I n L. P. L i p s i t t and C. C. S p i k e r (Eds.) Advances i n c h i l d development and b e h a v i o r . V o l . 2. New Y o r k : Academic P r e s s , 1965. Zeaman, D. and House, B. J . The r o l e o f a t t e n t i o n i n r e t a r d a t e d i s c r i m i n a t i o n l e a r n i n g . I n N. R. E l l i s (Ed.) Handbook o f m e n t a l d e f i c i e n c y . New York: M c G r a w - H i l l , 1963. Zeaman, D. and House, B. J . I n t e r p r e t a t i o n s o f d e v e l o p m e n t a l t r e n d s i n d i s c r i m i n a t i v e t r a n s f e r e f f e c t s . I n A. P i c k (Ed.) M i n n e s o t a Symposia on C h i l d P s y c h o l o g y . V o l . 8. M i n n e a p o l i s : U n i v e r s i t y of M i n n e s o t a P r e s s , 1974.  

Cite

Citation Scheme:

        

Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics

Share

Embed

Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                        
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            src="{[{embed.src}]}"
                            data-item="{[{embed.item}]}"
                            data-collection="{[{embed.collection}]}"
                            data-metadata="{[{embed.showMetadata}]}"
                            data-width="{[{embed.width}]}"
                            async >
                            </script>
                            </div>
                        
                    
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:
http://iiif.library.ubc.ca/presentation/dsp.831.1-0103871/manifest

Comment

Related Items