Master's Theses

Date of Award

Fall 1977

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Robert Markley


A group of children ranging from 5.0 to 6.6 years of age were drawn from a number of elementary schools that serve an area of predominately rural white American children. These children were divided into three groups with one group being exposed to an adult female model, one to a female peer model, and the third, receiving no exposure to a model. The modeling situations for both experimental groups were generally the same in that they were concerned with facilitating the acquisition of conservation of number (or length) and the subsequent generalization to the conservation of length (or number) with no prior training on length (or number) conservation. Each subject was exposed to four phases of treatment: baseline, training, transfer, and retention. This study included the following methodological improvements over other previous studies in this area: increased number of objects on number conservation items, the use of inequality items, and the use of a longer delay between the transfer and retention phases. It was found that a significant number (62%) of those children identified as non-conservers failed to train, transfer, and retain the conserving operations. There were no significant effects due to modeling conditions, sex of child, and order of stimulus sets on the conservation behavior of the experimental subjects.


Copyright 1976 Paul L. Reifschneider


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