ERIC Number: ED024456
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1968-Jun-1
Reference Count: 0
Socio-Cultural Influences on Attention in Elementary School Children. Final Report.
Knopf, Irwin J.
Five experiments (conducted in 1968 on observing responses and vigilance, reward preferences, and learning strategies in concept formation) indicate that socioeconomic level (SEL) has an influence on intellectual and educational functioning of elementary school children. Expectation of reinforcement was tested in experiment 1, using 60 kindergartners. Low SEL children rapidly stopped making observing responses when an expected event did not occur, while high SEL children maintained a significant rate of observing responses. In experiment 2, 32 second graders and 24 fourth graders were tested to investigate left-right directional preference. Fourth graders and high SEL second graders performed with more directional responses than did low SEL second graders. Reward preferences and reinforcement were investigated in 60 kindergartners in experiment 3. Low SEL children had significantly greater preference for consistency than high SEL children. Experiment 5 tested 60 first graders and indicated that the chaotic reinforcement variable alone produces deterioration of performance. Comparatively, low SEL children failed to observe environmental stimuli not previously conditioned to learned responses. Further research on behavior strategies is recommended. Present academic curriculum is inappropriate for the facilitation of learning in low SEL children. (DO)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC. Bureau of Research.
Authoring Institution: Emory Univ., Atlanta, GA.