Impact of information about negroes on attitude change

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Madden, Lowell E. (Lowell Edward), 1936-
Lumpkin, Donavon D.
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Thesis (D. Ed.)
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The purpose of the study was to determine whether children's attitudes toward Negroes could be significantly changed in a favorable direction through use of specified informational procedures and to investigate changes in attitude in relation to personality adjustment. Three instructional approaches were employed as agents for attitude change and were identified as The Literature Approach, The Audio-Visual Presentation Approach, and The Combination Approach.The Literature Approach provided pupils with books about Negroes to be included as part of an independent reading program. The books held potential for providing readers with vicarious experiences of Negro life, both past and present.The Audio-Visual Presentation Approach provided pupils with five separate audio-visual presentations which introduced factual information about Negro heritage, his contribution to the national development, his emotional reaction to his environment, his present living style, and his continued role as recipient of prejudice based on myths.The Combination Approach combined the strategies of The Literature and The Audio-Visual Presentation Approaches. ProcedureThe population in the study was comprised of 241 sixth grade white children assigned to nine classrooms in four elementary schools located in rural, small town and suburban settings in midwestern United States. The population was divided into the Control Group and the three Experimental Groups. The research design incorporated the standard pretest-treatment-posttest plan.The Attitude Scale (adapted from a scale constructed by Harrison Gough, University of Minnesota), the California Test of Personality, Elementary Level, Form AA and an information test (constructed specifically for use in this study and based on the information presented) were employed to gather data. The analysis of variance was utilized in determining the variation of information gained and attitude change for the four groups. The treatment by levels design of analysis of variance was utilized (using the two independent variables: personality and treatment) in determining the variation in attitude change in relation to the four treatment groups and the three levels of personality adjustment scores on the California Test of Personality.Findings1. Information about Negroes was conveyed to a statistically significant extent to pupils through The Combination and The Audio-Visual Presentation Approaches.2. Changes in attitude toward Negroes were not altered to a significant degree. Changes that did occur, but that were not statistically significant, appeared in the direction of unproved attitudes on the part of The Combination and The Audio-Visual Presentation Approaches.3. The level of personality adjustment scores of the pupils was not significantly related to the extent of change in attitude toward Negroes of the four groups employed.4. The level of personality adjustment scores was not significantly related to the extent of change in attitude toward Negroes regardless of the Approach that was analyzed.Conclusions1. Specific audio-visual instructional approaches provided learning experiences which resulted in higher scores that were statistically significant on an information test.2. Pupils participated in discussions about Negroes after they viewed presentations of specific audio-visual materials.3. Most children evidenced interest in learning about Negroes.4. Pupils who received presentations of specific audio-visual materials read more available books about Negroes than children who did not receive special presentations.5. Attitude change toward Negroes appears to occur less rapidly than cognitive (information) growth.6. A positive relationship (though not statistically significant) appears discernable between increase in knowledge about the Negro and favorable attitude change toward Negroes.7. Personality adjustment scores as measured by the California Test of Personality were not significantly related to attitude change toward the Negro.