ERIC Number: ED055643
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1969
Reference Count: N/A
Cognitive Synthesis, Conservation and Task Analysis.
Hall, Vernon C.; Caldwell, Edward
Neurological immaturity, cognitive stages or lack of readiness may be erroneously inferred from young children's task performance. An alternative hypothesis suggests that an inadequate analysis of the criterion task may, in fact, account for children's inability to perform successfully. To support this thesis, investigators examined the four-part Farnham-Diggory cognitive synthesis task (behavioral translations of logographic sentences) used in assessing maturational readiness and correlating positively with conservation. Two validation studies were undertaken and yielded evidence that (1) children succumbed to a response set because feedback and reinforcement were omitted from task administration procedures and (2) children reacted to each individual word in all sentences because some logographic sentences (directions to do something) were ambiguous. Also, an unspecified but mediating variable such as the amount of reading training might be the source of relationships attributed to cognitive synthesis and/or conservation skills. Developmental psychologists are urged to pursue traditional viewpoints which require specification of antecedent conditions when dealing with performance tasks involving young children since traditional research focused more on the capabilities of young children than on their limitations. (WY)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Economic Opportunity, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Syracuse Univ., NY. Dept. of Psychology.