The relationship of field dependent/field independent cognitive styles, stimuli variability and time factor on student achievement

Atang, Christopher
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The purpose of the present study was to investigate whether the cognitive style of an individual had an effect on his/her achievement when visual instruction with variable stimuli was used. Another purpose was to examine whether or not cognitive style had any relationship with the experimental treatment to affect time taken to assimilate and process information;Eighty-five Iowa State University freshmen volunteered and completed all aspects of the study. The 85 students were randomly assigned to one of three programmed instruction treatment groups concerning parts and function of the human heart. Programmed instruction was enhanced with shaded drawings in color (n = 29), shaded drawings in black and white (n = 29), and the control group had no drawings (n = 27). Data for all subjects consisted of high school class rank obtained from Iowa State University Admissions Office, Group Embedded Figures Test, pretest and posttest over the parts and function of the human heart, and elapsed time to take the pretest and posttest. The pretest and posttest were taken on the Apple II microcomputer with answers and elapsed time being recorded;Pearson product-moment correlation was used to determine the relationship between field dependence/field independence, pretest, posttest scores and high school class rank. Analysis of variance was used to test the difference in posttest scores between field dependent and field independent subjects treated with color, black and white, and no illustrations. Stepwise multiple regression analysis was used to predict the relationship between posttest time and field dependence/field independence, treatment groups and pretest time;Findings indicated that individuals' field dependence/field independence was not a significant factor in their performance in the pretest and posttest. High school class rank was not related to the subjects' level of field dependence/field independence. Both the color and black and white subjects proved superior to the control group subjects in posttest scores. There was a significant relationship between pretest time and posttest time. Pretest time and treatment groups accounted for forty-three percent of the variability in posttest time.

Professional studies in education, Education (Curriculum and instructional media), Curriculum and instructional media