ERIC Number: ED040466
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1970-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Social Class and the Information Processing Rate of Young Children.
Literature dealing with the disadvantaged is cursorily reviewed and questions raised by the literature are considered. Specifically, this study concerns the relationship between social class and the rate of processing of visual information in young children. Although various sources of slowness in learning are mentioned, this study focused only on basic cognitive processes, viz. the duration of time required by the child's perceptual system to process visual information. Subjects were 30 first graders from an advantaged (middle-upperclass) school and 30 first graders from a disadvantaged (lower class) school. A Berbrans two-field tachistoscope was used for estimating the processing rate. Techniques developed by Gilbert for controlling image persistence (based on the masking effect of a second visual stimulus) were modified in order to make possible more precise measurement and control. The entire measurement procedure is fully elaborated. The study concludes that: (1) young children of low social class can be tested using the tachistoscope; (2) the four stimuli used (circle, star, square, and triangle) were appropriate for testing young children; and (3) children from a low socioeconomic background do exhibit slower processing rates. (TL)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: American Educational Research Association, Washington, DC.; Western Michigan Univ., Kalamazoo.
Note: Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association Convention, Minneapolis, Minnesota, March 2-6, 1970