ERIC Number: ED229576
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Cognitive Structure of Technical Knowledge: A Free Association Methodology.
Smith, Brandon B.
Research was undertaken to determine if the free association methodology was a reliable and valid technique to map hierarchical associative technical knowledge. A sample consisting of four flexible and four inflexible workers in the radio/television repair and the mobile radio repair occupations responded to 163 radio and television words and 184 words for mobile radio communications, respectively. The free association responses for the four flexible and the four inflexible workers in each of the two occupations were pooled and subsequently subjected to a hierarchical factor analysis procedure. The associative methodology produced technical conceptual maps with face and content validity for flexible and inflexible workers in each occupation. Flexible workers had a larger and different technical vocabulary, and there were visual differences in the number and structures for the flexible workers and inflexible workers. Results suggested that the free association procedure is quite reliable and capable of producing technical associative structures for a technical field showing differences between groups of workers at different levels of proficiency and capable of producing a conceptual map of technical content that may be useful in curriculum development. (The instrument and some figures are appended.) (YLB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Free Associations; Structure of Knowledge
Note: Presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (67th, Montreal, Canada, April 11-15, 1983).