The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of sensory modality training on institutionalized mentally retarded adolescents. The primary investigation concerned the effect on retardates of sensory modality training with an opportunity for learning when compared to the effect on a comparable group given the same training with no opportunity for learning. The secondary investigation was the comparison of responses of three groups on the criterion task; one group having been trained with a tactual modality, one with a visual modality and one with combined tactual and visual modality. The sample included an equal number of males and females and the sex difference in performing the criterion task was investigated.
The hypotheses of the study were: (1) A group of retarded adolescents presented with a sensory task with an opportunity for learning will not score significantly different than a comparable group presented with the same sensory task with no opportunity for learning; (2) There will be no significant difference in the scores obtained by groups of subjects when subdivided according to sensory task methods, i.e., visual, stereognostic and visual/stereognostic; (3) There will be no significant difference in scores obtained by subjects of different sex when compared by task; (4) There will be no significant difference in scores obtained by subjects of different sex when compared by method.
The study was divided into the following parts: (1) review of the pertinent literature; (2) selection of the subjects, administration of six sensory tasks with testing and compilation of the data; and (3) presentation, analysis and interpretation of the data.
The subjects used in this study were sixty enrollees at the Los Lunas Hospital and Training school. The subjects were randomly assigned to six treatment groups: (1) Visual treatment without training; (2) Stereognostic treatment without training; (3) Visual and stereognostic treatment without training; (4)Visual treatment with training; (5) Stereognostic treatment with training; and (6) Visual and stereognostic treatment with training.
The first of the four hypotheses of the study was rejected. The retarded adolescents who had been presented a task with an opportunity for learning scored significantly higher than a comparable group presented the same task with no opportunity for learning. An F-score of 7.43 established significance at the .01 level of confidence.
The remaining three hypotheses were accepted. There was no significant difference in the scores obtained by groups of subjects when subdivided according to sensory task methods, i.e., visual, stereognostic and visual/stereognostic. There was no significant difference in the recall of males and females, when measured by the task method (i.e., learning and no learning). Nor was there a significant difference in the recall of males and females when measured by the sensory method (i.e., visual, stereognostic, and visual/stereognostic).
In measuring the recall of dual sensory modality learning, verbalization was avoided to minimize the variables in the present research; however, it is recommended that the effect of verbalization used in conjunction with stereognostic training be investigated.
The influence of age, etiology, and institutionalization as they effect learning should be determined. In the present research, no significant difference was observed between the scores of cultural-familial retardates and those of organic retardates. This may have been caused by the small size of the sample, and it is recommended that such a study be conducted with a larger group.
Although the stereognostic sensory modality did not appear significantly more effective than the visual sensoy modality in the present research, nevertheless trends in the results indicate a need for additional study in this area using larger samples. It is also recommended that the effect of sterognostic training on pre- vocational concepts be studied.
Level of Degree
First Committee Member (Chair)
Miles Vernon Zintz
Second Committee Member
Frederick Martin Chreist
Third Committee Member
Florence Margaret Schroeder
Fourth Committee Member
Don Martin Rice
Fifth Committee Member
Louis Alexander Bransford
Mershon, Patricia Moehrig. "Visual And Stereognostic Perception Of Mentally Retarded Adolescents." (1968). https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/educ_spcd_etds/50