UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Investigation of the content of brief samples of writing of high school students Balasa, Joseph


Brief written samples of high school students (83 grade 11 and 12) were content analyzed for the preferential use of verbs, nouns or adjectives. Consistency of preference across time (7 - 10 days) and testing mode word lists versus short prose passage was assessed. For 14 subjects (5 noun, 5 verb, 4 adjective dominant), the Gottschalk Human Relations Scale scoring was used to determine the magnitude of emotions associated with the dominant use of verbs, nouns and adjectives. The results indicated that the majority of the students preferred the noun dominant response mode. Verb dominant students comprised a smaller group, while very few students preferred the adjective dominant response mode. Expressed preference for the dominant response mode was found to be highly stable over time and consistent across the testing mode. Students did not significantly alter their dominant response mode even when they were requested to alter their original views and "take a totally different stand." The Gottschalk Human Relations Scale scores indicated that for the 14 subjects participating in the analysis, the noun dominant group displayed the greatest variance in the magnitude of emotions. The highest absolute magnitudes of emotion were associated with the adjective dominant response mode. Verb dominant students displayed high and stable emotional magnitudes. The results of the present study are examined in view of possible educational and therapeutic implications, and suggestions regarding future research are made.

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