ERIC Number: ED306162
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Apr
Field Dependence/Field Independence and Student Achievement in Economics.
McCorkle, Sarapage; Cohen, Margaret W.
This study was designed to test the hypothesis that relatively field independent students will perform at a significantly higher level than relatively field dependent students in college-level, introductory economics courses. Previous studies focused on comparative pedagogies, or an examination of the student variables of gender, ability, socioeconomic status, and age. The study employed one theory of cognitive style to examine the relationship between field dependence/field independence as a process variable and student achievement in economics. Field dependent students were viewed as being more globally oriented, more accepting of the "whole", while field independent students were more analytical in their information processing characteristics, and would be more successful in applying the basic analytical methodologies employed by introductory economic texts. Students in two introductory microeconomics courses at an urban, midwestern university made up the sample. Data were collected through the use of four instruments: (1) the Group Embedded Figures Test (GEFT); (2) the Revised Test of Understanding in College Economics (TUCE); (3) the Attitude Towards Economics (ATE) section of the Survey of Economic Attitudes; and (4) a student questionnaire, as well as SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test), ACT (American College Test and SCAT (School and College Ability Test) scores. Achievement and learning were measured and tested using a linear regression model. Statistical significance of cognitive style occurred when achievement was specified as the change in knowledge relative to the initial level of understanding. A discussion of the possible implications of the research, tables of statistics from the research, and a 17-item bibliography are included. (PPB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (69th, New Orleans, LA, April 4-9, 1988).