Configurational constancy: III. The effect of training in verbal analysis and visual imagery

dc.creatorBlades, Clifford J., Jr
dc.description.abstractA series of studies was undertaken in conjunction with the United States Air Force to Investigate some of the factors involved in spatial orientation during flight. It was hypothesized that the constant relationships which exist between configurations of equal geometric proportions might have a practical application to aeronautical navigation. The geographic location of an aircraft in space may be determined in a number of ways. One method which might be used is to compare configurations of terrain features as they appear on a radar scope with corresponding configurations on a radar chart of the ground. In the transposition from scope to chart, the properties of the elements in the configurations may vary in size, shape, orientation, distance apart, and combinations of these. This series of studies was concerned with the nature and importance of these changes as they are related to configurational constancy. One study investigated the effect of changes in the intrinsic organization on the ability of subjects to recognize configurations. When tests, designed to measure this factor, were administered to a subject population, the results indicated that changes in the Intrinsic organization were associated wlth significant error in recognition. A second study demonstrated the effect of expectancy and individual differences on configurational constancy. The present experiment was designed to test the effect of training In two different methods of recognition on the ability to correctly transpose the essential properties of configurations from the stimulus to the recall figure. Two groups of subjects were tested with the same test material used in the previous studies. One group was then trained to recognize configurations by breaking the configurations into parts and verbalizing the relationships between the parts (Verbal Analysis Croup), and the other group was trained to recognize configurations by considering their over-all 'gestalt', to look at them without analyzing them in any way (Visual Imagery Group). Following the training, both groups were retested to check the progress during training, and were then given a criterion test which consisted of fifteen problems closely approximating the actual navigation situation. Analysis of the data obtained in this study showed that the group trained to verbally analyze the configurations made consistently higher scores during and after training than the group which received training in the visual imagery method of recognition. The Verbal Analysis Group showed a significant gain in scores after training, but the Visual Imagery Group did not improve reliably during training. The greatest differences in performance between the groups were noted for the second training session and the Practicum, both of which consisted of material more difficult than that used for the rest of the experiment. A comparison of the results of both groups on the Practioum test clearly indicated that, considering this as a criterion measure, the training received by the Verbal Analysis Group was more successful than that received by ths Visual Imagery group. There are other factors Involved which require further investigation. Motivation and previous experience may have an important relationship to performance on this type of task. It would also be interesting to test the two types of training used in this study in a strict time situation to determine their relative effectiveness when the speed of recognition is an important element as well as the correctness of recognition.
dc.description.departmentPsychology, Department of
dc.format.digitalOriginreformatted digital
dc.rightsThis item is protected by copyright but is made available here under a claim of fair use (17 U.S.C. Section 107) for non-profit research and educational purposes. Users of this work assume the responsibility for determining copyright status prior to reusing, publishing, or reproducing this item for purposes other than what is allowed by fair use or other copyright exemptions. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires express permission of the copyright holder.
dc.subjectSpace perception
dc.subjectOrientation (Psychology)
dc.titleConfigurational constancy: III. The effect of training in verbal analysis and visual imagery
dc.type.genreThesis, Department of of Houston of Arts


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