UBC Theses and Dissertations
Performance in a computer maze as a function of cognitive style Knechtel, John David
This study examines the relationship between field independence (Witkin & Goodenough, 1982) and performance in a Computer Maze. Performance was assessed from five perspectives: ability to decode three dimensional representations, skill in locating the correct position for turning, proficiency in adjusting to changes in orientation, learning styles, and overall performance. The predicted inferior performance of the field dependent comparison group was partially confirmed. The performance of the field dependent comparison group was lower for decoding of three dimensional representations variables, for orientation variables, and for some overall performance variables. The performance of the field dependent comparison group was not lower for variables associated with identifying the correct positions for turning, for learning style variables, and for several overall performance variables. Based on these findings, the author concluded that level of field independence was associated with decoding of three dimensional representations, and that level of field independence was linked with ability to adjust to changes in orientation. However, although there was some relationship between level of field independence and overall performance, because the two comparison groups differed in previous experience with computers, the author cautiously interpreted the difference in overall performance between the two comparison groups. The author recommended additional studies to examine the relationship between level of field independence and the performance of students in a Computer Maze, between level of field independence and the performance of students in a computer assisted instruction exercise, and between level of field independence and performance of students in a computer studies class. The author also encouraged educators to clarify the role of computers in education.
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