ERIC Number: ED261301
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Aug
Reference Count: 0
A Cognitive Style Change Approach to the Modification of Thinking in College Students.
Neimark, Edith D.
In teaching people to think, a theory is needed about the thought process and about how it is modified by intervention. Most approaches to training people to think focus on an intermediary or mediating process. To explore the effectiveness of a group support training method in modifying cognitive style, the performance of female college student participants (N=29) was compared to that of controls (honors students, N=13, remedial writing students, N=5, and no training students, N=11) before and after the training course. The experimental group was divided into high and low ability groups and met once a week for 14 weeks of loosely structured exercises designed to explore the use of symbolism, promote abstract thinking and the generation of alternative viewpoints, broaden the application of thought, and promote metacognitive awareness. Experimentals and controls completed pre- and post-tests of the Watson-Glasser test of critical thinking, the Group Embedded Figures Test (GEFT), a water-bottle test correlating with the GEFT, and an essay evaluated for level of thinking and writing skill. At the conclusion of the semester, the control group showed a mean difference of 0.0 relative to their initial performance on the Watson-Glasser compared to the +1.68 mean difference for the experimentals. There was no evidence of improved academic performance for the experimental group as a result of the training in thinking. The findings suggest that the intervening training of the experimental group raised their level of critical thinking more than the intervening training (writing seminar, honors seminar, no systematic training) of the controls. (MCF)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Rutgers, The State Univ., New Brunswick, NJ.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Conference on Thinking (Cambridge, MA, August 19-23, 1984).