Intelligence, rote learning and personality factors in late adolescence

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    from another. There are signs now, however, of a new interest in devel- opmental research, which stems, as does the present report, directly from behavior theory.

    One approach to the study of concept formation, or "higher mental processes" in general, is through the application and extension of learn- ing principles via the invocation of the mediating response formulation. This forrmilation assumes implicit stimulus-response sequences that me- diate between the external environment and the ultimately observable response of the organism. The mediating responses are presumed to arise from the previous experience of the individual and to be governed by the laves of learning. The research to be reported on suggests that mediation is also influenced by developmental factors.

    One p'Jrpose was to determine whether there is a stage in the devel- opment of human beings in which there is a transition from mediated to unmediated behavior. Two investigations were done with brightness :rod size concepts to investigate this question. The results support the position that, with reference at least to the two concepts employed, young children behave in an unrnediated manner. Older children pro- grcss to a mediated response. The transition stage can, at present, be only roughly identified as about five or six years of age.

    A third study investigated the effect of requiring children to make overt verbal responses during a response-acquisition session. One group made relevant verbal responses; another group made irrelevant verbal responses, and a third group made no verbal responses. Th.e results show that verbalization does affect concept formation. The effect, however, seems to be dependent on the age of the children.

    These several results suggest that studying the interaction of learning variables with developmental factors may provide some valuable insights into the psychology of thinking.



    R. A. WILLETr London (England)

    In the context of a program aimed at describing the relationship between personality factors and learning processes, two group.s of industrial apprentices aged 15-18 years were tested on a rote learnnig task. The

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    task consisted of learning lists of nonsense syllables, by the method of serial anticipation, to a criterion of two successive correct repetitions. In the fit'st group a conditioning procedure, questionnaire measures of personality factors and a test of general intelligence were also adminis- tered. In the second group the subjects were required to continue the serial anticipation task for thirty trials beyond one perfect repetition, and questionnaire measures of personality factors and a test of general intelligence were again administered.

    In both groups the relationship of the personality measures and the tests of intelligence to certain aspects of the serial learning task will be discussed while special mention will be made to the measure of condi- tioning taken in the first group and to the subjects' performance as the asymptote of learning was approached in the second group.


    DEE G. APPLEY Carbondale, IlL (USA)

    Because many important life decisions must be made betsveen the ages of 16 and 21, individuals in late adolescence are particularly likely to find themselves consciously considering their future goals and how to realize them. Implicit in this searching is a consideration of the self, each individual intensely experiencing his existence as a separate human being, and experiencing also a heightened awareness of others.

    The self is composed of a complex of thoughts, feelings, attitudes and psychological states. How the individual feels about himself is a part of this complex and is, of course, critically related to how this self may be realized.

    One important dime-sion of attitude towards the self is the "self- acceptance self-rejection dimension. Another is the discrepancy between one's conception of one's self and some other or ideal self. Both are related to the possibilities for self realization.

    This paper reports the results of an investigation involving a large sample of college freshman women. They were given the opportunity to describe themselves by means of a 300 item adjective check list (after Gough et al.). A consideration of the favorable and unfavorable adjectives used by them to describe themselves and to describe others is given.

    The findings are discussed within a theoretical framework.


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