Psychology ETDs

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Dimensional attention in six- and nine-year-olds was assessed by the use of two concept identification tasks which allowed either a uni- or bidimensional solution. It was expected that the older children would be more likely to attain a bidimensional solution. The results did not confirm this prediction. A subsequent analysis of solution strategies revealed that a primary strategy or both age groups was to learn two values from a single dimension, one which predicted positive instances and one which predicted negative instance. If Ss were presented with a task where this strategy was unsuccessful, they tended to adopt one of two secondary strategies. They either learned more values from the same dimension or reduced input load by dropping a value and adopting a focus strategy of learning only one value, that which predicted either the positive or negative response class. S then predicted the second response class by the absence of the learned value. Whether S focused on the positive or negative value was found to be a function of dimension preference. A third strategy, learning two values from different dimensions (a bidimensional solution) was rarely utilized. This was interpreted as an indication of the strength of the attentional response to one dimension.

Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name


First Committee Member (Chair)

Peder Jack Johnson

Second Committee Member

Thomas Patrick Friden

Third Committee Member

G. Robert Grice

Fourth Committee Member

Henry Carleton Ellis


I would like to express my appreciation to Dr. Peder J. Johnson whose advice and assistance has been invaluable. In addition, I would like to express my gratitude to the other members of my committee, Drs. G. R. Grice, Henry C. Ellis, and Thomas Friden, who have given of their time in my behalf and to Mrs. Eleanor Orth for her advice in the typing of this manuscript. Acknowledgment must also be made of the grant by the Student Research Allocations Committee which partially supported this research.



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Psychology Commons