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ERIC Number: ED249488
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983
Pages: 34
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Coherence and Cognitive Style.
Williams, James D.
A study investigated the relationship between cognitive style and coherence in discourse. The primary hypothesis was that coherence would vary bimodally by cognitive style classification. Forty-four freshman composition students from three west coast colleges completed the Culture Fair Intelligence Test, the Group Embedded Figures Test, and the PF-16 Personality Assessment. Each subject received linguistic stimuli that called for responses ranging from spontaneous dialogue to monologue to writing. A group of readers unaware of the nature of the research rated each response holistically in terms of coherence. Coherence scores were then analyzed in relation to cognitive style classifications as indicated by the Group Embedded Figures Test. On the basis of cognitive style scores, subjects were sorted into three categories using an SAS sorting algorithm. The first, or field dependent, category contained 17 subjects with cognitive style scores of less than 6. The field independent group contained 15 subjects with scores greater than 6. The third category, which was the norming group, contained 12 subjects with scores of exactly 6. The hypothesis that coherence varied by cognitive style was supported by the data. Field dependent subjects were eight times more likely to produce discourse of low coherence than of high coherence. They were two and a half times more likely to produce discourse of low coherence than were their field independent counterparts. The results suggest that coherence in discourse is largely a developmental phenomenon, not a pedagogical one. (Author/HTH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Freshman Composition