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ERIC Number: EJ864235
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Dec
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 45
ISSN: ISSN-1040-3590
Learning Effects in the Block Design Task: A Stimulus Parameter-Based Approach
Miller, Joseph C.; Ruthig, Joelle C.; Bradley, April R.; Wise, Richard A.; Pedersen, Heather A.; Ellison, Jo M.
Psychological Assessment, v21 n4 p570-577 Dec 2009
Learning effects were assessed for the block design (BD) task, on the basis of variation in 2 stimulus parameters: perceptual cohesiveness (PC) and set size uncertainty (U). Thirty-one nonclinical undergraduate students (19 female) each completed 3 designs for each of 4 varied sets of the stimulus parameters (high-PC/high-U, high-PC/low-U, low-PC/high-U, and low-PC/low-U), ordered randomly within a larger set of designs with mixed stimulus characteristics. Regression analyses revealed significant, although modest, learning effects in all conditions. Negative-logarithmic learning slopes (growth factors) were greatest for high-U/high-PC designs and smallest for low-U/low-PC designs. Comparison of these slopes with known Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (3rd ed.; D. Wechsler, 1997; and 4th ed.; D. Wechsler, 2008) BD subtest gain scores demonstrated that presenting novel test items matched on stimulus parameters in multiple administrations reduced learning effects compared with the repeated use of the same test items. The results suggest that repeated administration of novel test items of the BD subtest, matched for PC and U, would result in more accurate assessments of changes in examinees' abilities over time than would the use of the same items. Difficulties inherent in implementing this method are also discussed. (Contains 3 footnotes, 3 tables, and 4 figures.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Block Design Test; Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale