THE RELATIONSHIP OF COGNITIVE STYLE TO PERFORMANCE ON A
NONVERBAL INTELLIGENCE TEST AND AN ACHIEVEMENT TEST AMONG
ANGLOS AND DIFFERENTIALLY ACCULTURATED MEXICAN-AMERICANS
Ricardo R. Gonzales
B.A., Psychology, University of New Mexico, 1977
M.A., Psychology, University of New Mexico, 1979
The relationship of analytic and nonanalytic cognitive style to performance on a nonverbal intelligence test (Culture Fair Intelligence Test) and an achievement test (ACT verbal score), was investigated using Anglo and differentially acculturated Mexican-American college students. Subjects between ages 17-35 completed a cognitive style measure, the Kahn Test of Symbol Arrangement. The test·categorizes response patterns of subjects according to several levels of analytic abstraction. Cattell's nonverbal Culture Fair Intelligence Test and ACT composite scores served as the measures of nonverbal intelligence and verbal achievement respectively. The Multidimensional Scale of Cultural Difference, which taps sociocultural characteristics, served to differentiate between Mexican-Americans. There were 27 moderately acculturated Mexican-Americans and 26 highly acculturated MexicanAmericans. Sixty-five Anglos also served as subjects in the study.
Previous research suggested an analytic cognitive style as partly responsible for the lower performance of Mexican-American subjects on standardized intelligence and achievement tests. Therefore, it was predicted that on the Kahn Test of Symbol Arrangement, the Culture Fair Intelligence Test, and ACT verbal measures, Anglos would perform significantly better than highly acculturated Mexican-Americans; highly acculturated Mexican-Americans would in turn perform significantly better than moderately acculturated Mexican-Americans.
With verbal achievement controlled across all levels of acculturation, computed Scheffé contrasts determined Kahn Test Symbol Arrangement differences and Culture Fair Intelligence Test differences. Partial correlations were subsequently conducted between the Kahn Test of Symbol Arrangement, the Culture Fair Intelligence Test, and the ACT composite scores across all levels of acculturation.
Results indicated no statistically significant differences between Anglos and either group of differentially acculturated Mexican-Americans on the Kahn Test of Symbol Arrangement, or on the Culture Fair Intelligence Test. Correlational analysis indicated a positive relationship between acculturation and the ACT verbal measure (p < .01).
The major conclusions of this study indicate that Chicanos (at least as acculturated as those at the University of New Mexico) are similar to Anglos in analytic cognitive style and analytic nonverbal intellectual abilities. However, the less acculturated the Chicano, the less likely is he to perform at a comparatively high level with Anglos on an achievement test. The relatively poor performance of Mexican-Americans implies a lack of verbal facility, and not deficits in analytic style or ability. Methodological issues related to the study of cognitive style among Mexican-Americans and problems involved in measuring this construct are noted.
Level of Degree
First Committee Member (Chair)
Second Committee Member
Ralph David Norman
Third Committee Member
Richard Jerome Harris
Gonzales, Ricardo R.. "The Relationship Of Cognitive Style To Performance On A Nonverbal Intelligence Test And An Achievement Test Among Anglos And Differentially Acculturated Mexican-Americans." (1979). https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/psy_etds/377