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The relation of primary representational systems and visualization training to spatial relations aptitude

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Title: The relation of primary representational systems and visualization training to spatial relations aptitude
Author: Forwood, Gloria Mary
Degree Master of Arts - MA
Program Counselling Psychology
Copyright Date: 1981
Abstract: It has long been realized that people differ in their ability to use their various senses in learning, and many research studies have attempted to train people to use their weaker modalities more effectively. It is suggested in a recent theory, Neurolinguistic Programming, that the way people receive and understand information is influenced not only by their external environment but also by their internal response to it. Thus they use sensory input channels, which bring information to their attention, and internal representational systems, which respond to the information and give it meaning. One aptitude which may be affected by a person's primary representational system is visualization, or the ability to mentally manipulate objects. This aptitude is measured by spatial relations tests. It is possible that a person may see an image by means of his or her visual input system, but not have a strong enough visual representational system to hold that image and manipulate it mentally. The purpose of this study was, first, to investigate the relationship between the strength of the visual representational system and performance on a spatial relations test, and, second, to determine whether visualization training would improve performance on the spatial relations test. The subjects in the study were 67 male and 71 female grade 10 students in a large, urban, multi-ethnic high school. All wrote one form of the Space Relations subtest of the Differential Aptitude Tests as well as two questionnaires designed to identify primary representational systems. Of those students who could be most clearly classified as visuals, 20 were randomly divided into two groups and the groups randomly assigned to the experimental or the control condition. The same procedure was followed to divide the non-visuals. One week later, the experimental group underwent visualization training while the control group took part in an unrelated activity. After another week, all the students wrote an alternate form of the space relations test. An analysis of variance was run using the pretest and posttest scores and the visual or non-visual classification of the students. There was no significant difference between the arithmetic means of the visual and non-visual groups on either the pretest or the posttest and no significant difference between the posttest arithmetic mean of the group who received visualization training and that of the control group. No significant interactions were found between classification as visual or non-visual and membership in the control or experimental group. Contrary to expectations, the primary representational system did not appear to be related to performance on the spatial relations test, and the visualization training did not appear to have improved the students' performance on the test. The unexpected results may have occurred because of inaccurate classification of the students' representational systems, inadequate visualization training, or the inappropriate use of group rather than individual methods to classify and train the students. The results may also have been influenced by other factors such as the age of the subjects, their inexperience with tests, their intelligence, or the relative strength of their representational systems. Further research will be needed to clarify the meaning of the results of this study.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2429/22817
Series/Report no. UBC Retrospective Theses Digitization Project [http://www.library.ubc.ca/archives/retro_theses/]
Scholarly Level: Graduate

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