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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Associative verbal mediation Scott, David John


Twenty-five grade 11 and 12 subjects (Ss) performed 70 Trials by the anticipation method of PAL on each of two 12 pair lists. The experimental condition consisted of a single 12 pair list in which the pairs to be learned were mediately as well as immediately associated. The list comprising the control condition differed only in that the pairs to be learned were not mediately associated with one another. Low " a " value verbal items and a 1 .6 sec. presentation interval were used. The purpose of these measures was to determine whether, as Hull's (1939) model of secondary generalization would indicate, an associative connection can be formed between two previously unrelated verbal items by associating each independently with a third verbal item. The hypothesis that learning performance on the mediately associated items would be superior to the control items was supported with a significant difference between the two occurring at the fourth block of two trials. In addition, postexperimental interview data indicated that only three of the 25 Ss in the experimental condition became spontaneously aware of the mediational relationship among the items in their list. The results are interpreted as indicating that associative as well as conceptual process can be involved in the mediational facilitation of verbal learning.

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