Executive training and mental capacity: an investigation of the role of arousal and temporal executives in facilitating performance.

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dc.contributor.advisor Miller, Ronald.
dc.creator Andrew, Duncan John.
dc.date.accessioned 2012-08-16T05:57:42Z
dc.date.available 2012-08-16T05:57:42Z
dc.date.created 1989
dc.date.issued 1989
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10413/6166
dc.description Thesis (M.A.)-University of Natal, Durban, 1989. en
dc.description.abstract The present study forms part of a continual process of ongoing research based on the assumptions and principles of Pascual-Leone's neo-Piagetian Theory of Constructive Operators. Pascual-Leone proposes a model of development that has as its main postulate a quantitative parameter (M-power) which, together with other operators, is held to account for the qualitative logical-structural competencies characteristic of the epistemic subject at each successive Piagetian developmental stage. The present study was designed to assess, via the use of the Compound Stimulus Visual Information (CSVI) task, the role of executive processing on performance. The aim of the study was to ascertain the effect on performance if subjects are trained to use arousal executives and temporal executives that maximize the application of M-power and increase the number of times subjects attend and respond to the compound stimulus. All subjects (N =114) were Zulu-speaking children aged 11 (N =59) and 13 (N =55) years living in a township (Indaleni) adjacent to Richmond (Natal). Subjects in each of the two age groups were randomly assigned to three experimental groups (arousal-temporal; temporal-arousal; and control) in accord with the order in which they received executive training between the three CSVI tests administered. ii The most striking feature of the results is the contrast between training, learning, and developmental effects. Niether the arousal nor temporal training appears to have effected performance although clear developmental effects were evident, with older subjects consistently performing at higher levels than younger subjects on the first look of the CSVI. This is not the case for repeated looks or for the second look of the first CSVI, for which older and younger subjects perform at the same level. However, for both first and repeated looks strong learning effects are evident across the three CSVI tests with performance improving from an initial underperformance to overperformance on the final CSVI. This suggests that subjects learn strategies that enable them to lower the task demands across looks. In investigating this possibility a comparison was made between the theoretically anticipated proportion of "new" and "repeat" responses and those actually obtained. This comparison clearly indicates the use of some strategy on the part of both 11 and 13 year-olds which significantly reduces the number of repeats made. This, in turn, effectively increases the M-power available for new responses on repeated exposure of the stimulus compound. This improved performance of subjects on repeated testing suggests that tasks cannot be made equivalent across subjects unless the subjects have the opportunity to engage in the task Hi and thereby generate strategies appropriate to meet the task demands. Further, the self-generation of strategies and the marked degree of individual variation evident within the present study suggests that these must be investigated in the light of the interrelation between contextual/individual factors and postulated structural invarients such that a clearer understanding of the interaction between inter- and intra-individual processes becomes possiable. en
dc.language.iso en_ZA en
dc.subject Achievement tests--KwaZulu-Natal. en
dc.subject Educational tests and measurements--KwaZulu-Natal. en
dc.subject Performance--Testing. en
dc.subject Theses--Psychology. en
dc.title Executive training and mental capacity: an investigation of the role of arousal and temporal executives in facilitating performance. en
dc.type Thesis en

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