Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Dr. Joseph B. Ray
This research was designed to investigate the effects of reward as motivation upon selective perception and selective recall. The specific hypotheses were: (1) Three letter nonsense syllables associated with high positive motivational support will be recognized at shorter exposure times than will three letter nonsense syllables associated with low positive or negative motivational support. (2) Three letter nonsense syllables associated with high positive motivational support will be recalled more readily in an immediate and delayed recall series than will those syllables associated with low positive or negative motivational support. (3) There will be a high co-relationship between syllables associated with high motivational support perceived at rapid recognition times and those syllables associated with high motivational support which are recalled. The subjects for this experiment were selected from the 5th and 6th grades at Washington Grade School in Hays, Kansas. The materials consisted of 15 nonsense syllables as stimulus items. Three levels of motivational support, termed, high positive, low positive, and negative were employed. Five syllables were assigned to each Motivational level and values were "built into the subject". This was done by having subjects play a game for which they earned points toward four possible rewards. Recognition times of the nonsense syllables were tested tachistoscopically in order to determine the effects of the three levels of motivation upon recognition thresholds. The effects of the three levels of motivation upon recall were tested by written recall of syllables in immediate and delayed recall series. No significant differences were found for recognition times of nonsense syllables at the three levels of motivation. The recall data revealed significant differences between the positive and negative motivational stimuli. Wide individual differences among subjects account for most of the variance in both recall of syllables and in the recognition times of syllables. A Significant correlation between speed of recognition and recall of syllables associated with high positive motivational support was not found. The results of the present study allow the following conclusions: (1) Speed of recognition does not vary under conditions of differential motivation; (2) Recall is enhanced by negative motivational conditions; ()) There is no consistent relationship between the motivational determiners of recall and those of speed of recognition. Reasons posited for these conclusions are discussed.
Harper, Jerry L., "Selectivity of Perception and Selectivity of Recall As Determined By Motivational Variables" (1956). Master's Theses. 554.
Copyright 1956 Jerry L. Harper