The Influence of Meaningfulness and Physical Intralist Discriminability of the Learning and Retention of Verbal Stimuli


The purpose of this experiment was to test an interpretation of Gibson\u27s hypothesis relating to stimulus differentiation. Verbal learning was utilized, with an attempt to control intralist stimulus differentiation through the manipulation of the physical properties of the stimuli themselves. It was hypothesized that physical discrimination would facilitate verbal learning. The results showed mean number of errors to be significantly related to meaningfulness, with more mean errors per trial in the low meaningfulness lists than in the high. The other results were generally not significant: however, the trends indicated that learning was faster in both the case of high meaning and in the case of physical discriminability, and that physical discriminability produced a greater difference in the low meaningfulness condition than in the high. The trends, although not significant, seem generally to support the experimental hypothesis. Further experimentation in the area of physical stimulus differentiation is suggested

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Fort Hays State University

Last time updated on 09/07/2019

This paper was published in Fort Hays State University.

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