The effects of cognitive level and training procedures on the generalization of self-instructions


Preoperational and concrete operational first- and second-graders performed on a training task (Matching Familiar Figures Test) and a generalization task (a perceptual perspective-taking test) prior to and after serving in one of four self-instruction groups varying in the delivery procedures of the instructions. The instruction groups were a no-training control group, a didactic instruction control group, a fading self-instructions group, and a directed discovery self-instructions group. Children in the didactic instructions group received the same instructional content as children in the fading and directed discovery self-instructions groups, but without an active rehearsal component. Children in the fading group received the traditional five-step overt-to-covert rehearsal of instructions; those in the directed discovery group were led to "discover" the instructions through a Socratic dialogue exchange with the experimenter. Children in the fading and directed discovery self-instructions groups significantly improved their performance on the training task relative to children in both control groups. Only the concrete operational children in the directed discovery self-instruction group demonstrated significant improvement on the generalization task. © 1984 Plenum Publishing Corporation.

Publication Title

Cognitive Therapy and Research