ERIC Number: ED195323
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Sep
Reference Count: 0
The Effects of Cognitive Dissonance or Disequilibrium on Conservation Attainment in Field Dependent and Field Independent Students.
Wicker, Tommie E.
This experimental study investigated (1) the effects of cognitive dissonance on the acquisition of conservation by field dependent (FD) and field independent (FI) elementary school students, and (2) the relationship between cognitive style and cognitive development. In the first phase of the experiment 248 students from kindergarten through third grade were given the Children's Embedded Figures Test (CEFT) and a battery of eight Piagetian tasks. Subjects were identified as FD, mixed FD and FI, or FI, who had attained the stage of conservation, were transitional between stages, or were non-conservers. In the second phase, non-conservers who were FD (N = 30) or FI (N = 24) were directed and trained to make conservation judgements and give reasons that contradicted those they gave in the first phase. Subjects then were asked to give conserving responses in the presence of a peer. This procedure was designed to induce cognitive dissonance among the non-conservers. Among the results, very few FD students gained conservation in first grade, while most FI students were transitional or conserving. By third grade, there were no FI non-conservers and no FD conservers. Significant differences between experimental and control groups are thought to indicate that cognitive dissonance does produce equivalent gains in conservation task performance among both FD and FI students. (Author/MP)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Cognitive Dissonance; Field Dependence; Piagetian Tasks
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (88th, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, September 1-5, 1980).