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ERIC Number: ED059970
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1970-Jul-21
Reference Count: 0
Age Differences in Information Processing of an Ambiguous Learning Task. Final Report.
Green, Phillip C.
This study tested two hypotheses: a) general principles underlying probability can be taught to young school children, and b) age differences influence one's ability to probability match (defined as the tendency to match reinforcement probability with response probability in a multiple-choice learning situation). In addition, the investigation explored two variables which affect a subject's ability to perform: the level of information feedback and length of anticipation schedules. Testing apparatus consisted of a stimulus-display panel with three push-plates; when a correct plate is pushed, the subject is reinforced with candy (child) or token (adult). First-grade children and college sophomores were both tested at three levels of information feedback, a single reinforcement schedule, and three trial-anticipation schedules. Subjects also responded verbally to questions which tested their awareness of probability. Analysis of data revealed a direct relationship between information feedback level and matching ability, with adults performing significantly better at lower feedback levels. As the length of anticipation trials increased, some age-related performance changes were also seen. It can be concluded that juveniles can process ambiguous content almost as well as adults if they receive a relatively constant and sufficient flow of information and if their storage capacities are not overtaxed. Most children also understood the probability involved. (LP)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC. Bureau of Research.
Authoring Institution: Bowling Green State Univ., OH.