The effects of graduated stimulus change on learning efficiency in a visual discrimination task

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dc.contributor.advisor Sparzo, Frank J. en_US Corns, David Allan en_US 2011-06-03T19:24:23Z 2011-06-03T19:24:23Z 1990 en_US 1990
dc.identifier LD2489.Z68 1990 .C6 en_US
dc.description.abstract The investigation examined differences in learning efficiency produced by two different methods of discrimination training among regular placement fifth-grade pupils. It was designed to explore possible between-group differences in rate of learning, length of training, mastery rate, recall of learning, and task persistence following training. The experiment consisted of training, an interference task, and a concluding posttest. Two independent groups were formed by random assignment of subjects. The experimental group began training with graduated stimulus change trials--that is, subjects were presented with a succession of three visual discrimination tasks consisting of six trials per task designed to teach correct responding before incorrect alternatives were gradually introduced. Control subjects did not receive graduated stimulus change trials. Instead, they began each task in the training phase with more complex discriminations at trial seven. Pennies were used for reinforcement of correct choices in each group; incorrect selection resulted in no reinforcer delivery. Both groups were then administered a brief exercise designed to inhibit the recall of acquired discriminations. All subjects concluded with a 54-item posttest consisting of intermingled trials from the three-task training phase. The first 21 items were considered mandatory, but the final 33 were optional (i.e., subjects were instructed to complete as many items as they wished and informed that each correct selection earned a penny). Results indicated that graduated stimulus change (GSC) learners committed significantly fewer errors learning the discriminations and mastered significantly more of the training tasks presented than did trial-and-error learners. There was no significant difference between the two groups in the length of training nor in the degree of persistence during posttest voluntary responding. GSC subjects also committed significantly fewer errors on recall than controls although the degree of absolute forgetting in each group was not significantly different. The findings suggest that regular placement, "easy-to-teach" pupils can profit from GSC programming in several important ways. Without lengthening the training process, stimulus control methodologies can render instruction more efficient than trial-and-error procedures for nonimpaired learners. The need is apparent for further experimental research on the application of errorless discrimination procedures to other areas and levels of education. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Department of Educational Psychology
dc.format.extent xi, 103 leaves : ill. ; 28 cm. en_US
dc.source Virtual Press en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Learning, Psychology of. en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Learning by discovery. en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Teaching. en_US
dc.title The effects of graduated stimulus change on learning efficiency in a visual discrimination task en_US Thesis (Ph. D.) en_US
dc.identifier.cardcat-url en_US

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  • Doctoral Dissertations [3248]
    Doctoral dissertations submitted to the Graduate School by Ball State University doctoral candidates in partial fulfillment of degree requirements.

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