ERIC Number: ED030622
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1969-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Relevant Subjective Response Uncertainty as a Function of Stimulus-Task Interaction. Research and Development Memorandum No. 49.
Salomon, Gavriel; Sieber, Joan E.
Two experiments were performed to investigate how a stimulus (a film with scenes either in or out of order) in combination with a task (recalling facts or generating hypotheses about the film) affect whether or not a person responds to the stimulus with more than one discrete answer or thought (subjective response uncertainty). Specifically, this stimulus-task interaction was studied as it aroused either relevant uncertainty (thoughts about the stimulus related to the task) or irrelevant uncertainty (thoughts about the stimulus unrelated to the task because of something confusing or distracting in the stimulus). Both experiments, in which subjects (teacher-trainees and college freshmen) were randomly assigned to conditions determined by a factorial design of one or two films and the two film structures and tasks mentioned above, were used to test the hypothesis that relevant uncertainty (and, consequently, information search) would be maximized when the stimulus suggested many responses of the kind required by the task. Support for the hypothesis was found in that subjects generated significantly more hypotheses for unstructured films than for structured films (because a randomized order of scenes suggests more hypotheses) and recalled significantly more facts for one of the structured films (because the latter offer an associative basis for memory and do not divert attention from the task). The stimulus-task interaction paradigm needs to be expanded to examine problem-solving tasks and related questions, such as how problem solvers learn to generate relevant uncertainty in situations "designed" to arouse irrelevant uncertainty. (LP)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC. Bureau of Research.
Authoring Institution: Stanford Univ., CA. Stanford Center for Research and Development in Teaching.