Interaction of cues, learner curiosity, verbal ability, and amount of invested mental effort with achievement in a museu...

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Title:
Interaction of cues, learner curiosity, verbal ability, and amount of invested mental effort with achievement in a museum setting
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x, 125 leaves : ill. ; 28 cm.
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English
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Fire, Wilhelmina Mauer, 1936-
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Subjects / Keywords:
Learning   ( lcsh )
Learning, Psychology of   ( lcsh )
Curriculum and Instruction thesis Ph. D
Dissertations, Academic -- Curriculum and Instruction -- UF
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non-fiction   ( marcgt )

Notes

Thesis:
Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Florida, 1985.
Bibliography:
Bibliography: leaves 110-121.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Wilhelmina Mauer Fire.
General Note:
Typescript.
General Note:
Vita.

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University of Florida
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Full Text







INTERACTION
AND


OF CUES, LEARNER CURIOSITY, VERBAL ABILITY,
AMOUNT OF INVESTED MENTAL EFFORT WITH
ACHIEVEMENT IN A MUSEUM SETTING


WILHELMINA


MAUER


FIRE


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN
PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS
FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY


..- -- -


__ I
















This is lovingly dedicated to the memory of my


parents, Mr. and Mrs.


Victor G. Mauer, Sr., whose


unwavering faith in my ability to succeed at anything

I attempted sustained me throughout this project.








ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS


I am indebted to many people who made this work

possible; therefore, I would like to express my

gratitude to the following:

To the students, teachers, and administrators at

Howard Middle School in Ocala, Florida, for their

cooperation and enthusiasm during the planning and the

actual implementation of this experiment.

To Dixshna Moodaley, Lisa Barwick, and Debra

Mason for their time, energy, and professionalism in

carrying out the experiment and in grading 900 tests.

To my committee chairman, Dr. John J. Koran, Jr.,


for his encouragement, patience, and suggestions.


I am


particularly appreciative of the prompt attention and

feedback he gave to each of my chapters as each made its

way from Miami to Gainesville and back again.

To Dr. Marie Fonzi, for her friendship and moral

support which heartened my spirit along this path.

And most of all, to my husband Chuck, and to my

children, Kathy, Karen, and Ken, for their financial


and emotional support during the past 4 years.


Their


patience and understanding of my total immersion into

the world of academia during this effort now affords

me the onportunitv to bask in thP anInlioh ae +ho ana

















TABLE OF CONTENTS


Page

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS. . . . . . . . iii


LIST OF TABLES. . . .. . . ... ...


LIST OF FIGURES . . . . ........... viii


ABSTRACT ..... ....... .. .. ... .


CHAPTER


I. THE PROBLEM............ . .............


Purpose ................. ............
Background to the Problem...........
Summary. ..... .. ....... ... . .. .


II. REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE.............


Attention and Lear
Learning in Inform
Curiosity and Acti
Knowledge of the C
Amount of Invested
Aptitude Treatment
Summary. ...... .
Hypotheses........


ning...... ....
al Settings...
ve Exploration
riterion Task.
Mental Effort
Interactions.


a.. ...a.
... ....


.. 0...
......


0. 0...
......
.......


....0..0
....0...
. aa. .a
....... *


III. EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURES....... ... ........


Subjects........ ....
General Procedures..
The Design..........
Treatments.. .........
Instructional Materi
Measures........ ....
Aptitudes.........
Posttests.........


RESULTS ........


.4


... .. ..O. ... .0...0
...0 ......... .. ...
...... .........O...
.............. .. ...
als. .. .... ........

..... .. ........ .
......... ........
.. .......... ...


U S -











Aptitude x Treatment Interactions......
Aptitude x Attention Cues x Test Cues.
Test Cues Constant. .................
Attention Cues Constant..............
Two-Way Interactions with Other
Aptitudes... . . .


V. DISCUSSION AND IMPLICATIONS....... ......


Instructional Treatment Main Effects


Cues... .......................
Mental Effort and Inferences...
Curiosity. ..... .. .. .
Aptitude x Treatment Interactions
Three-Way Interactions........
Two-Way Interactions...........
Conclusion . . .


*. ..
*. ..* .
. ...** .


APPENDICES

A. EXAMPLES OF THE WRITTEN TREATMENT CARDS.. 100

B. PHOTOGRAPH OF THE EXHIBIT................ 102

C. QUESTIONS USED FOR THE GENERAL SCIENCE
CURIOSITY SCALE. . .... .. . . 103

D. EXAMPLES FROM THE SCIENCE CURIOSITY
SCALE .. ..... .. ..... .. 104

E. AIME SCALE (AMOUNT OF INVESTED MENTAL
EFFORT). ....... .. ..... ...... 105

F. CRITERION POSTTEST FACTUAL AND
INFERENTIAL ITEMS ..... .. .. ........ .. 106

G. SCIENCE CURIOSITY POSTTEST............... 108

H. CORRELATION MATRIX OF TESTING MEASURES... 109


REFERENCES . . . . . . . 110

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH..... ......... ... .... 122


P

|
)















LIST OF TABLES


Page


Table


1. Distribution of Subjects by Treatment,


Sex,


and Race.........


.. . ... 34


Experimental Design.....................


3. Reliabilities of Measures Used..........

4. Aptitude Data...........................


Posttest Data. .. . . ........


6. Posttest Curiosity Data......... .....

7. Curiosity Change Score Data.............

8. Summary Table of Dependent Variable
Main Effects . . . . ....

9. Analyses of Variance for Mental Effort
and Inferences... . . . .....

10. Analyses of Variance for Curiosity
Levels ... .... ... .............

11. Summary of Statistics for Testing
Interactions of Verbal Ability


x Attention Cues


x Test Cues....... ..


12. Statistics for Verbal Ability


x Test


Cue Interactions (Attention Cues
Given).. .............. .......


13. Statistics for Verbal Ability


x Test


Cue Interactions (No Attention
Cues Given).. ...... ...... ... ..


14. Intercepts and Slopes for Regression


Tinoc, bfnrT Vl AthTl l-n 'I. Trno-? 1 -


v Trntm*n













Table


15.


Page


Nonsignificant F Values for Aptitude
x Treatment Interactions for Factual
Items and Inferential Items..........


Nonsignificant F Values for Aptitude x
Treatment Interactions for Total Post-
test and Posttest Science Curiosity..


Summary Statistics for Significant
Two Way Interactions.................


Intercepts and Slopes for Regression
Lines for Posttest Written Science


Curiosity


the Dependent Variable..













LIST OF FIGURES


Figure

1.


Page


Interaction of Verbal Ability with
Treatments for Factual Items..........


Interaction of Verbal Ability with
Treatments for Total Posttest.........


Interaction of Pretest Science Curiosity
x Attention Cues for Posttest Science


Curiosity..


. . 75


Interaction of Amount of Mental Effort
x Test Cue for Posttest Science


Curiosity..


S. . 76


Interaction of Psychomotor Curiosity
Test Cue for Posttest Science


Curiosity...








Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of
the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy


INTERACTION OF CUES, LEARNER CURIOSITY,


AND AMOUNT OF INVESTED MENTAL EFFORT WITH
ACHIEVEMENT IN A MUSEUM SETTING

By

Wilhelmina Mauer Fire


VERBAL ABILITY,


December, 1985


Chairman:


Dr. John J. Koran, Jr.


Major Department:


Instruction and Curriculum


This study investigated the effects that resulted

from treatments that differed in the presence or absence

of both attention cues and test cues upon learning from


a shell museum exhibit.


The relationship between


students' curiosity prior to, and after, their exposure

to a hands-on museum exhibit was also explored.

Finally, the interactions of learner characteristics

with the above treatments were investigated.

One hundred twenty-nine sixth grade students were

randomly assigned to one of four treatments in a


modified posttest only design.


Subjects were given


aptitude tests representing verbal ability and prior

science curiosity which were thought to be differen-


tially related to achievement.


Exploratory psycho-


motor curiosity of each subject was timed while each was


-; n- n n --: I- L- & _


A 1 I *








Regression analyses revealed no significant main

effects for the variance in attention cues or in test

cues; merely supplying these cues did not ensure


learning.


However, this was not discouraging; rather, a


significant three-way interaction (2


.04) of Verbal


Ability


x Attention Cues


x Test Cues was detected with


the recall of factual items.


Subjects high in verbal


ability learned more when the treatment contained test

cues, but no attention cues, while low verbal ability

subjects could not process the incoming information from

the exhibit without the attention cues that provided

them with a device for organizing, coding, and

remembering the information.

A significant main effect for mental effort was


detected (2


- .039).


Subjects who invested more mental


effort made more and better inferences than those who


invested less mental effort.


A test cue only treatment


seemed to influence students to perceive the task


important to learn; thus they made superior inferences.


A significant interaction (p


of Psychomotor Curiosity x

posttest science curiosity.


.04) with the Amount


Test cue was found for

A no test cue treatment


produced higher posttest science curiosity scores for

both high and low curiosity subjects because the
- --L 2 A- -.- -- I 2 n: *c 4 a. n 4l A: J nfl .. ^ af 4 t 1, a i















CHAPTER I
THE PROBLEM

Purpose


This study had three objectives:


(1) to ascertain


differences in learning achievement resulting from

variations in the cues given to students that preceded


their approach to a particular museum exhibit;


(2) to


investigate the interaction of learner characteristics


such as their levels of curiosity,


verbal ability, and


"invested mental effort" with achievement; and (3) to

examine the relationship between the students' curiosity

levels prior to, and after, their interaction with a

hands-on museum exhibit.


Background to the Problem


Of the more than 300 million people who visit


museums annually (Harris Poll, 1980), 40% were found to

attend science museums (Tressell, 1980). Since museum


design is generally outside of the parameters of

traditional formal classroom structure, museums are

generally described by researchers, educators, and

psychologists as unstructured, with no mandatory













they are labeled "informal learning settings" (Falk &

Balling, 1982; J. J. Koran, Longino, & Shafer, 1983).


People of all


ages


have visited museums and most


have tended to view exhibits aimlessly and for a maximum


duration of 30 seconds (Falk


, 1983; Nielson, 1946).


Since education appeared not to be the primary purpose


of their visit, museum


goers


were usually unable to


recall salient information about any of the exhibits


they viewed.


The attraction for these visitors was


entertainment; they saw the unusual and were inclined to

seek out exhibits relevant to their own personal

intrigue (Laetsch, Diamond, Gottfried, & Rosenfeld,

1980).


The educational role of museums began


interest with the Shettel et al. (1968) study.


a research

Here,


it was determined that exhibits had to attract and

maintain the attention of the viewers before the exhibit


could communicate its message.


This work, and that of


others (Abler, 1968; Cronje, 1980; DeWaard, Jagmin,

Maisto, & McNamara, 1974; J. J. Koran, Lehman, Shafer, &


Koran, 1983; Screven, 1974; Shafer, 1981), detailed the

use of various methods for gaining the attention of












exhibits


is an area that needs further investigation.


Thus, one objective of this study was to inquire what

effect attention focusing questions (questions related

to specific exhibit attributes) would have upon


achievement in a museum type ir

Although curiosity would


)rmal learning setting.

em to play an important


role in attention, unfortunately, few curiosity studies

have addressed the influence of curiosity upon learning

in either the school environment or in the museum

(Garcia, 1978; Lowry & Johnson, 1981); therefore, there

are little data in this area. Those curiosity studies

carried out in museum settings have demonstrated

increased interest and increased manipulation attributed

to curiosity (J. J. Koran, Morrison, Lehman, Koran, &

Gandara, 1984; Oppenheimer, 1972; R. W. Peterson, 1979),

but have not unequivocally established what effect


curiosity has upon achievement.


In order to explore


this relationship, a second objective of this study was

to determine the impact various levels of curiosity had

upon learning from a museum exhibit.

Many researchers have defined curiosity (Banta,

Sciarra, & Jeff 1966; Berlyne, 1954, 1966; Kreitler,












subjects'


manipulation of objects in the exhibit during


the time they were in the vicinity of the novel hands-on

museum exhibit, (2) the students' written reactive

curiosity to certain novel situations as adapted from

the Children's Reactive Curiosity Scale (Penney &

McCann, 1964, Appendix C), and (3) the subjects'

unsolicited questions after their exposure to the

exhibit.

The complexity of the human organism suggests that

achievement may be due to more than the factors of


attention and curiosity.


Other characteristics that


differ in individuals have been found to interact


simultaneously to differentially affect learning.


Much


evidence has shown that the general ability of subjects

accounts for considerable variance in their level of


achievement (Cronbach & Snow, 1977).


For this reason,


verbal ability, as an index of general ability


was


pertinent to this study and was also explored in

relation to learning.

Effort has long been recognized as an important


facet in the process of learning.


mental effort (AIME)


The amount of invested


, however, is not merely time spent on


- ..- -- a -I .. 2 3 1 -









5


When subjects had an a priori perception of a task as

difficult, they invested more effort than when they per-


ceived the task as easy.


Accordingly, the greater the


level of mental effort expended, the greater the


inferential learning by the subjects (Salomon, 1984). T

subjects are assumed to choose the level of effort they

wish to invest during any learning experience, including


that of an informal learning setting.


Due to its inherent


informality, a museum setting could be perceived by 'some

subjects as "fun" rather than educational while other

subjects could perceive it as an enjoyable learning


experience.


This subject-chosen differentially invested


mental effort was investigated here to ascertain its

effect upon the subjects' inferential learning; the

expenditure of greater effort was deduced from the

learners' greater ability to generate inferences and from

their self-reports of effort after their confrontation

with the experimental exhibit.


Summary


Because so many people of varying abilities are

drawn to museums, due to factors ranging from the

mundane to the more-or-less profound, their













as viewers' attentiveness, level of curiosity, and


invested mental effort.


Although many researchers have


advocated the premise that curiosity increases subjects'

attentiveness and willingness to manipulate materials,

little data are available on the direct relationship

between curiosity and the effectiveness of learning.

The variability in the amount of mental effort that

subjects are willing to invest (which is due to their

perception of a task as difficult or easy), their

assessment of self-efficacy, and the reward (or payoff)

they expect from performing the task also exert


influence on their learning outcomes.


Research,


therefore, is needed to discern what effects verbal

ability, level of curiosity, attention cues, and

invested mental effort have upon achievement in a

museum. The results may delineate how educators may

make optimal use of museum exhibits for instructional

purposes either in an informal museum setting or in

the formal classroom for their particular students.















CHAPTER II
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE


Attention and Learning


Attention, which is selective in both time and


scope, has been established


the first student


activity necessary in the acquisition of knowledge

(Bransford, 1979; Gagne, 1973; Keele, 1973; J. J. Koran


& Lehman, 1981).


give, or want to


Some students have more attention to

ive, to instruction (Osborne &


Wittrock, 1983; Wittrock, 1979).


Both the persistence


and the intensity of student attention have been shown

to affect learning (Bransford, 1979).

Although the observation of time on task has been

considered attentiveness and has been the forefront of

research in the past ten years (Berliner, 1979; P. L.

Peterson & Swing, 1982, Rosenshine, 1979; Stallings,

1980), students' reports of their own attentiveness and

cognitive processes were demonstrated to be more valid

indicators of achievement (P. L. Peterson, Swing, Stark


& Waas, 1984).


By using stimulated recall after


videotaped lessons, students reported that lesson


r 1 n r- n h A n 1!.4 r an 1 a, ^v r r a A 1 ^n 4


c n rf- ^\ S\ / ^\ 1 l n^- n" r hl n m /


/












perceived by students


such (Winne & Marx, 1982).


This implies that for instruction to be effective, many

students may need very explicit directions concerning


what they are supposed to learn


well


instructional


devices that will focus their attention on that which


to be learned.

In the context of the classroom setting, textbook

writers and researchers have utilized various techniques


to focus attention during instruction in order to


learners in acquiring knowledge.


assist


When questions were


given to students prior to the instructional materials,

the "forward shaping" cues preconditioned students to

convergently focus on finding only those answers germane

to the questions that preceded the text (Anderson, 1970;


Rothkopf, 1970; J. T. Wilson & Koran, 1976).


It has


been demonstrated that questions placed before text

produced greater learning of the intended objectives

while depressing the acquisition of incidental learning


(Frase, 1968; J. T. Wilson, 1973).


Students were also


found to spend more time on information directed by

inserted questions in text and less time on non-

questioned portions of the text (Holliday, 1981;









9

Those students with high selective attention in the

experimental groups were given either the advance

organizers, behavioral objectives, or both, and

outperformed the students in the control group who were


not provided any cues.


The advance organizers and


objectives alerted students' attention and provided

them with a framework for the text that followed.

Working with another type of cue, Dansereau (1982a)

found that students who were provided with headings in

text performed significantly better than those whose


text did not contain these aids.


The headings provided


an outline about which the learners could organize and

focus their attention on the information presented in


the text.


These lines of research suggest that


attention cues in the form of questions, advance

organizers, objectives, and headings, can help focus


attention and produce more learning.


from these


types of studies that the objectives previously outlined

were derived and the subsequent treatments developed for

this study.


There


research that contradicts the notion that


cues are more helpful than no cues.


The differences in


how students perceived what was expected of them was












the researcher (Dansereau, 1982b).


This experience


required the students in the generative group to

actively process the information and classify it into


categories that were meaningful to them.


Some no


question groups also achieved significantly more than

question-cued groups during textbook study (Holliday,


1981; Reidbord, 1979).


This "no question condition" is


similar to the "backward review" activity required of

students when questions were utilized after exposure to

the materials (Rickards, 1979; J. T. Wilson & Koran,


1976).


In those situations, the learners were not only


attentive to all of the material, but they also

processed the information in a divergent way by using

their own strategies rather than one provided for them.


There


a need to extend this type research from the


classroom to other types of settings (such


informal


settings as described by J. J. Koran, Longino, & Shafer,

1983) in order to investigate the mediating effects of

ability, both with and without cues that focus students'

attention, upon achievement in those settings.


Learning in Informal Settings


Informal learning takes place in settings outside












found to choose the content, materials, and the time


they wish to


spend in a specific informal environment


(J. J. Koran & Longino, 1982); they were neither given

tests nor held accountable for what they had observed

which is in sharp contrast to that found by students in

formal classrooms.

Shettel et al. (1968) studied the educational role

of museums by examining the visitor variables, exhibit


variables, and exhibit effectiveness.


He worked with


mock-up designs of future museum displays and determined

that in order for an exhibit to attract and maintain the


viewers


attention, the exhibit had to communicate its


message to a very diverse group of people.


Cronje


(1980) has since substantiated the conclusion that the

modes of communication had to be presented with clarity


to meet the needs of various visitors.


Whether there


was a necessity to provide attention cues to all

subjects for the the purpose of communicating the

exhibit's message to them was another question

investigated in this study.

Audio devices and a variety of interactive means

have been the focus of museum studies that have











audio adjuncts, with a travelogue type discourse,

focused attention to particular features of the


exhibits.


Screven 's (1974) use of protests, behavioral


objectives and electronic punchboards (for questions and

immediate feedback to visitors in a museum setting) had


positive effects on cognitive outcomes.


These inter-


active aids attracted and held the attention of the

viewers in a museum where visitors could easily be

distracted by the many stimuli found in such -a setting.

A less expensive method to focus attention in a

museum setting was reported with the use of programmed

cards (DeWaard, Jagmin, Maisto, & McNamara, 1974).

Those visitors who viewed an exhibit with the advantage

of the programmed cards learned more than those who did

not have their attention directed to significant aspects


of the exhibit by cards.


In a study (J. J. Koran,


Lehman, Shafer, & Koran, 1983) utilizing an existing

panel that consolidated information about a Florida


cave, the panel was used both

as a post-attentional device.


a pre-attentional and


One experimental group of


high school students viewed the panel before walking


through the Florida


cave


exhibit; a second group viewed


the panel after exiting the cave.


Both groups









13

visitors were congruent with cognitive learning theories

(Bransford, 1979; Gagne, 1973) and have shed light on

what further steps might be taken to simplify and

amplify attention cues for those requiring such cues in

order to learn optimally.

Researchers have suggested that museums, science

centers, and field -trip experiences have great potential


adjuncts to school learning (Baker & Sellar, 1983;


Kimche, 1978; J. J. Koran & Shafer, 1982; Silver, 1983),

but little data are available to suggest precisely what

takes place in these settings that is different from a


regular classroom setting


It has been shown, however,


that cueing students to the setting prior to a field

trip increased learning (Falk & Balling, 1980; Falk,

Martin, & Balling, 1978; Sneider, Eason, & Friedman,


1979).


Students who had become familiar with the


setting were not distracted by such a stimulus-rich

experience; therefore, their focus was on the designated


point of interest.


Similarly, Gennaro (1981) evaluated


the educational outcome of a museum visit using previsit


materials.


Eighth grade students who were given the


previsit instructional materials learned more than their

counterparts who were not given such materials.








14

In an investigation by Wright (1980) of sixth

graders reviewing the human body, one group had a

multisensory hands-on review in a museum and the other

group a nonhands-on classroom review session on the same


information.


The museum review group demonstrated


superior comprehension and application of both knowledge


and concepts.


The author concluded that the unit of


information that preceded the hands-on museum review

served to orient this group, heighten their attention,

and accounted for their significantly superior


achievement.


This


consistent with the previous


research reviewed on attention and learning.

In a study by Linn (1980) a "free choice" classroom

environment was set up to approximate that of a museum


or field trip.


Results suggested that free choice, even


within the classroom, was effective only after students

had received some guidance toward the goals of


instruction.


P. M. Smith (1981) similarly measured the


effectiveness of a museum outreach van versus a guided


tour in a museum.


The outreach program, that brought


museum materials into the familiarity of the class-


room, produced higher


scores


than the regular museum


visit.


The above studies give support to the


advantageous use of nr--i nstructional orientation hPfnrP








15


Not all types of field trips have been found to be

equally beneficial to students even if consideration has


been given to orientation.


In a comparison of a single


process-oriented field trip, a single content-oriented

field trip, and regular classroom instruction on the

same material, Wiley (1984) reported that process-

orientation was the dominant factor in the development


of concrete concepts that persisted over time.


After


proper instructional orientation and a means of focusing

student attention, the single most important source for

producing maximal student learning is the students'

opportunity to actively explore and manipulate hands-on


type materials.


It is with this in mind that


achievement was investigated in regard to the subjects

manipulative curiosity of objects presented in this

study.


Curiosity and Active Exploration


Curiosity is a means by which children learn more


about their world.


Although the nature of curiosity has


been the focus of researchers' interest for over fifty

years, only recently have studies emerged concerning

subjects' behavior in the school and museum areas.








16
individuals' experiences and what they expected led them


to reduce the discrepancy (Charlesworth, 1964).


1978, Berlyne redefined curiosity


existed in two forms:


an attribute that


(1) perceptual, which activated


uncertainty-relieving perceptions, and (2) epistemic,


which activated the quest for knowledge.


Evidence


suggests that this tendency to activate curiosity has


been found to occur in children at various


ages


with no


extrinsic reward given.


Curiosity provided its own


intrinsic reward in the form of reducing the uncertainty

or ambiguity of a particular situation for those

subjects (Day, 1982; Klausmeier, 1975; Morris, 1976;

Vidler, 1977).


Curiosity


said to be exhibited when an


individual scans the environment for novelty, approaches

a novel, incongrous, or complex object or event,

interacts with it, and persists in this behavior (Cantor


& Cantor, 1966; Henderson, 1980; Maw & Maw, 1964).


sensory motor responses to these objects or discrepant

events have been classified into a heirarchy of levels:

(1) an individual approaches an object without touching

it; (2) an individual approaches and manipulates the

object; and (3) an individual approaches, manipulates,
-1 S .. .t S. -* A -I








17


With a sample of 120 kindergarten, second, fourth,

and sixth graders, R. W. Peterson & Lowery (1972) placed


children individually into -a novel environment


observed them unobtrusively.


The exploratory behaviors


of the subjects toward specific objects were rated


numerically using the above hierarchy.


The amount of


curiosity expressed through exploratory behavior was not

significantly different for the various age groups, but

those with higher motor activity usually asked fewer


unsolicited questions.


In addition, R. W. Peterson


(1975), discovered that the presence of an adult in a

contrived situation had a negative effect on the


students'


expression of curiosity.


Since teachers'


ratings of


students' levels of curiosity have usually


been based upon questions that students ask, while motor

activity has been considered disruptive behavior in the

classroom, many highly curious students have neither

been identified nor encouraged to develop their


curiosity.


When, however, teachers expressed favorable


attitudes toward students' expression of curiosity,

students showed significantly higher levels of various

curiosity behaviors including sensory motor and verbal

activities (Elias & Elias, 1978; Henderson, 1980).











centers (Carlisle, 1985).


Researchers (J. J. Koran,


Morrison, Lehman, Koran, & Gandara, 1984) demonstrated


that


58.5%


of those who entered a specific area of the


Florida State Museum went to the section where hands-on


materials were located in drawers.


This number


significantly increased to


82.3%


when objects were


readily available and subjects could manipulate them


freely.


The attraction of participatory exhibits was


also evidenced by the endeavors of researchers at the

San Francisco Exploratorium (Oppenheimer, 1972;


Oppenheimer & Cole, 1974).


Dynamic, or hands-on,


exhibits were prevalent there and permitted visitors not

only to look at, but also to touch, alter, and to


interact with the exhibits.


Many of the exhibits


challenged the visitors to solve and work through


problems.


These types of hands-on activities are


reminiscent of the process-oriented science curricula of


the 1960s.


Activity based and multisensory experiences


aided the learning of students, particularly those of

low ability and those who needed concrete examples in

order to learn and to remember (Bredderman, 1982;


Mechling & Oliver, 1983; Wiley, 1984)


However, there


are little data on how curiosity and hands-on











described curiosity


as a group of traits.


The following


were the major three: (1) perceptual curiosity--that of

perceiving displays of materials or objects, (2)

manipulative curiosity--that of hands-on activities, and

(3) conceptual curiosity--that of an individual asking


questions about the object or event


higher cognition.


a function of


Hence, students' preferred, styles of


expressing curiosity have been shown to exist


exploratory behaviors,


verbal behaviors (R. W. Peterson


& Lowery, 1972), tolerance for ambiguity (Maw & Magoon,

1971; Maw & Maw, 1972), active or passive cognitive

exploration (Hazen, 1982; Kreitler et al., 1975), or


some combination of these.


Due to the diverse ways that


curiosity may be exhibited, an examination of curiosity

should encompass exploratory sensory motor activities,

written responses to novel situations, and unsolicited

questions.

Although few studies have addressed the value of

curiosity in facilitating learning, there have been


related studies.


Studies that concern the role of


curiosity in arousing conflict and the internal

cognitive process (J. J. Koran & Longino, 1982; Rowe,

1978; Vidler, 1980a), in encouraging inquiry (Tamir,










20

There is further evidence that curiosity is linked


to cognitive outcomes.


In an investigation of 121 under-


graduates, Vidler (1980b) reported that curiosity was

related to both performance and class attendance with


moderate significant relationships.


Controversy,


compared with no controversy, in groups of fifth and

sixth graders, indicated that controversy led to more

epistemic curiosity and higher achievement (Lowry &


Johnson, 1981).


involved


In Garcia's (1978) dissertation that


children of poverty families, a significant


relationship was found between curiosity and school

performance of second and third graders although none


was found for first grade children.


These studies


provide some insight into the positive relationship of

high curiosity students with high performance and

suggest that more extensive experimental research should

be undertaken to explore the role of curiosity in

achievement, particularly in an informal learning

setting where curiosity can be nurtured.


Knowledge of the Criterion Task


Knowledge of the criterion task and the concomitant

IrcPn di nrf fta Qront atiilv t0hr f lif lhi ctrnat-Qoo








21

reported 30% rereading of the text; those who prepared


for an


essay


examination reported a


rereading rate.


After the administration of a multiple choice


examination, subjects responded that they used


multiple strategies compared to subjects who reported


that they used 40% multiple strategies after an


test (Alverman & Ratekin, 1982).


performance expectation


essay


Students responded to


they perceived it rather than


to what was actually stated by the teacher (F. R. Smith


& Feathers, 1983).


This was a result of the students'


experiences with particular teachers testing methods

and/or threats of testing that were not carried out.

The type of instructional materials presented to

the learner in relation to the type of examination given


also affected performance.


cues along


Subjects receiving pictorial


with prose instruction demonstrated better


pictorial recall than those who did not receive such

cues (Matthews, 1980); when the students perceived a

mismatch between instruction and testing, achievement


scores


were lower.


In contrast, prior knowledge of the


specific criterion task has been found to enhance

performance and those who knew they were to be tested


outperformed th


ose


who did not possess this information








22

instructional cues upon student achievement give the

impetus to further research in an informal setting, such


a museum, in order to define the types of students


who would perform better under each circumstance

(knowledge of a test versus absence of that knowledge)

and to extend Salomon 's (1984) conception of invested

mental effort to the informal setting.


Amount of Invested Mental Effort


Researchers have considered effort an important

factor in achievement, but have differed in their


attempts to describe its nature.

equated with such descriptors as


1966),


Effort has been


Motivation (Atkinson,


the capacity to respond to a stimulus


(Kahneman, 1973),


(Bandura, 1977),


one's expectant level of efficacy

persistence and time on task (I.


Brown & Inouye, 1978; Rosenshine, 1979; Stallings,


1980), and


that which


spurred on by continued


success


(Revelle & Michaels


, 1976).


This last


representation is supported by a study of 80 fifth and

sixth graders (Ames & Ames, 1981) who knew of their


success


with previous tasks they performed individually


and attributed their future


success


to the effort they










elaborations applied to material" (p. 44).


The AIME


expended depends largely on the subject's perception of


the task. This factor has b

demand characteristic (PDC).


,een termed the perceived


If the task was perceived


difficult or unfamiliar, the perceived demand


characteristic was high.


This in turn increased the


student's use of cognitive strategies and mental

elaborations of the materials with a high level of


mental effort.


Similarly, if a task was perceived


easy or familiar, even if the stimulus was complex or

ambiguous, less mental effort was invested and the

subjects relied upon their automatic cognitive responses

and minimal, if any, mental elaborations were applied to

the task.

In Salomon's (1984) study of 124 sixth graders

while learning the same information from television

versus text, the amount of invested mental effort was

determined by the number of inferences the students made


and by self-reports.


Students perceived television


more realistic and easy, thereby they invested less


mental effort; students perceived print


difficult


which required them to invest more mental effort.


As a


result, those who expended more mental effort were able








24


In this same study, Salomon (1984) discussed

another factor related to AIME--the learners' perceived

self-efficacy (PSE). If students perceived themselves

to be more efficacious, they were likely to invest

sustained effort and persist in the task they perceived


difficult.


Both the perceptions of demand


characteristics and of self-efficacy were theorized to

affect the amount of invested mental effort for a


particular task, or context of material.


The amount .of


mental effort expended, in turn, influenced learning.


In addition to


assessing


the difficulty of a task,


students decided when to invest more mental effort

according to what directions were given, to their

perception of the task's worth, how much attention to

give to it, how to learn it, and how deeply to learn it


(Salomon, 1983).


Hence, any variable that could


influence these perceptions could affect the amount of


mental effort learners would be willing to invest.


With


this consideration, the subjects' knowledge of an

impending test versus no knowledge of an exam was an

attempt to differentially affect the amount of invested

mental effort expended by the subjects in this study of

a museum exhibit.











Aptitude Treatment Interactions


A multitude of educational research studies in the

past have sought the one best instructional method for


all students.


When the mean of the subjects' scores in


Group A was higher than the mean of those in Group B,


treatment A was proclaimed


learners.


the panacea for all


Perhaps the treatment would be advantageous


for subjects who scored at the mean, but not for those

whose scores were widely scattered in the distribution.

This traditional research did not take into account the

differences in students' emotional status, prior

achievement, personality traits, learning styles, or

mental abilities.

Previous attempts to individualize instruction

included streaming students by tracks (B. J. Wilson &

Schmits, 1978) and changing the rate of instruction in

the form of mastery learning (Block & Anderson, 1975);

however these methods did not produce encouraging


results.


In order to maximize the learning potential of


each student and to personalize education, it is most

important to match the method of instruction to the

subject's individual learning characteristics (Messick,

1979; Tobias, 1982).








26

Koran, 1980; M. L. Koran & Koran, 1984); this research


termed aptitude treatment interaction (ATI) research.


The principle of ATI studies


that all students are


influenced by the educational environment--the stimuli


presented by instruction


well


the learners'


perceptions of that environment mediated by their


individual differences (Berliner, 1983).


educational environment


learning of all students.


Thus, no one


best suited for the optimal


Rather, different individuals


prosper in different environments that best match their

learning characteristics or aptitudes.

Cronbach and Snow (1977) defined an aptitude as any

characteristic of the learner that functions selectively


with


respect to learning--either facilitatin


hindering learning from a particular type of instruc-


tion.


A treatment was specified as any type of


instructional method to which a learner was exposed

with variations in structure, pacing, style, modality,


instructor, or learning setting.


An interaction occurs


when two or more treatments are designed to reach the

same educational goal, but one treatment is signifi-

cantly better for one type of learner, whereas a


different treatment


superior for another type of


- m I I











Cronbach and Snow (1977) cited many studies in

which individual differences in aptitudes have been


found to impact learning.


They reported that the


aptitude of general ability interacted more often than


any specific type of ability.


Treatments that involved


discovery learning or that required the subjects to

process information on their own benefited high ability


students while hindering those of low ability.


Students


having a high general or verbal ability have been found

to be more capable of processing greater amounts of

sensory data (Allen, 1975).

Examples of interaction studies that favored lower

general ability students were those that provided


instructional support (Tobias, 1982).


Some of these


included the use of pictorial adjuncts to text (Chute,


1979; Dwyer, 1972; Holliday, Brunner, & Donais


, 1977;


M. L. Koran & Koran, 1980), flow diagrams (Holliday,

et al., 1977), inserted questions in text (Holliday,

1981; Reynolds, 1979; J. T. Wilson, 1973) and headings


in text (Dansereau, 1982a).


They provided lower ability


students with needed cues, attention devices, and

explicit rules to remedy certain learning deficits


(A. L. Brown, Campione, & Day, 1981).


Other studies









28

learners; they helped to reduce the demand on these

students' ability to apply their own cognitive processes


to systematize the information from text.


These aids


alerted their attention and provided them with a

framework for the text that followed (Borer, 1981;

J. J. Koran & Koran, 1973). The notion of using an

advance organizer in a museum was implemented by


Stankiewicz (1984)


The advance organizer provided a


schema about which the learners could better focus their

attention and organize the information they gleaned from


the museum exhibit.


Again, low ability students


benefited from an advance organizer while high ability

learners were constrained in their thinking and learning

processes.

High ability subjects have been found to perform


best in an environment that


task-oriented and that


leaves much of the cognitive processing, organization,

and intrepretation to the learner (Cronbach & Snow,


1977; Ebmeier, 1978; J. J. Koran & Koran, 1973).

studies where low ability learners profited, high


ability learners did not.


In the


Treatments that capitalized


on the well developed cognitive abilities of learners
i n P 4 a j 4 .- -, 1n r' n a 4 a 1








29


studies produced interactions when general ability was


the measured aptitude.


Moreover, Cronbach and Snow


(1977) suggested that the aptitude of general ability be

included in all ATI studies.

Messick (1979) discussed motivation in regard to

curiosity as one of the many non-cognitive personal


characteristics posed as educationally relevant.


suggested that high levels of curiosity would induce

optimal levels of conceptual conflict and novelty,


thereby affecting the learning process.


The effect of


curiosity upon achievement was investigated in a study

that included 35 seventh and 46 eighth graders (J. J.


Koran, Koran, Fire, & Morrison, 1985).


The interaction


of Curiosity Level x Treatment (inductive vs. deductive)

x Grade of the Student approached significance (F =


2.22,


.06).


While this study had only 81 subjects


with complete data, or 11-13 per treatment per grade,

curiosity may well have been found a factor in

achievement if a larger similar sample were used as

suggested by Cronbach and Snow (1977).

This analysis suggests that aptitude measures of

general ability and of curiosity may be worthy of


investigation in a


museum study.


An informal learning











will employ might interact with the attention cues


given, with their curiosity levels, and with


manner in which they will perceive the task.


Summary


The following were the major points derived from

the literature reviewed in this chapter and led to the

hypotheses to be tested:

1. Attention is necessary for learning to take

place and many students require cues and

focusing devices to hold their attention.


Maximal learning


produced when students have


the opportunity to manipulate science materials.

3. Subjects' willingness to manipulate hands-on

materials increases significantly when the

objects are available; thus they increase their

motor curiosity behaviors.


4. There is evidence that curiosity


related to


cognitive outcomes, although few studies have

addressed the direct value of curiosity in

facilitating learning.

5. The amount of invested mental effort (AIME)

depends on the perceived demand characteristic












7. Any variable such


knowledge of the criterion


task may influence the subject's perception of

the task, thereby influencing the amount of

invested mental effort.

Learner characteristics may interact with the

types of cues given to them prior to viewing a

museum exhibit.


Hypotheses


Based upon the aforementioned research, the

following hypotheses were formulated: (All hypotheses


were tested at alpha


.05).


1. Subjects receiving treatment cards with

attention focusing questions about a museum

exhibit will perform significantly better on a

written criterion measure than subjects

receiving treatment cards with no attention

cues.


Subjects receiving treatment cards with cues


that refer to a forthcoming achievement test

about an exhibit will perform significantly

better on the criterion measure than subjects

receiving treatments cards with no reference to









32

on the inference portion of the criterion

than subjects not receiving these cues.

4. Subjects who demonstrate high levels of written

curiosity before approaching an exhibit will

perform significantly better on both the psycho-

motor and written curiosity measures after their

interaction with the exhibit than subjects who

have low levels of written curiosity.

5. There will be a differential relationship

between criterion performance and aptitudes of

subjects as measured by the vocabulary,

curiosity, and invested mental effort measures.















CHAPTER III
EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURES


Subjects


Sixth grade students from one rural north central

Florida middle school participated in this study during


the second semester of school.


All subjects had the


same teacher for science class and had been exposed to


the same science curriculum during the school


group of subjects included


year.


male (58%) and 54 female


(42%) students of which 69 (53%) were black and 60 (47%)


were white.


A distribution of the experimental subjects


by treatment,


sex,


and race appears in Table 1.


The 129


subjects from five sections of general science completed


the aptitude measures of vocabulary,


invested mental effort,


curiosity,


followed the instructions given


on the treatment cards,


took the posttests.


Data


from these 129 subjects were used in all subsequent


analyses.


Absence from school prevented an additional


22 subjects from completing the experiment.


General Procedures









34


Table 1
Distribution of Subjects by Treatment, Sex, and Race


Male


Female


Treatment


Black


11


White


6


Black


9


White


Total


5


33


Total












subjects.


During the week of the experiment,


which was


carried out during regular school hours,


one section per


day was isolated in the science classroom, and the

remaining sections spent the day in four other class-

rooms with teachers who utilized the time to teach these


students their other subjects.


The students were asked


not to discuss what they experienced with their peers.

This was monitored by the classroom science teacher,

other teachers, and by the three persons involved in

administering the experiment.

Subjects within the first section were brought to

the treatment room one at a time and randomly assigned


to one of the four experimental


treatments.


Upon


entering the treatment room each student was read the


section of directions by an experimenter,


was instructed


to read the remainder of the treatment card assigned,


follow the directions, and to let the experimenter know

when he/she was finished. During a maximum stay of 10


minutes in the vicinity of the shell museum exhibit,

each subject was observed and timed for his/her

psychomotor curiosity or hands-on exploration.


At the end of 10 minutes (or

said he/she was finished) the su


less if the subject


biect went to a second








36

a criterion measure that required inferences, a post-

test of general curiosity and a posttest of science


curiosi

effort


ty.


The measure of the amount of invested mental


(AIME) was given prior to all other measures so


that the subjects'


reports of AIME would apply to the


exhibit and not to the other tests.


Subjects proceeded


at their own pace and could ask clarification or word

meaning questions of a second experimenter.

Subjects were then directed to a third area where

they could talk and ask questions that they still had


about the exhibit with a third experimenter.


This


conversation was tape recorded and later coded for

unsolicited questions that pertained to curiosity and

for statements that related to the amount of effort


invested by the subject.


The same procedure was


followed for all subjects in the first section on the


same day.


The other four sections of subjects were


processed on four subsequent days in the same fashion.


The Design


The modified posttest only design was used to test


the hypotheses (Table


received


All four experimental groups


the corresponding instruction and were given an


immediate posttest.


This design permitted the evalua-













Table


Experimental Design


Test Cues


Instructional


Cards


Given (T)


Not Given (NT)


A-NT


Attention Cues
in the form of
questions


No Attention Cues


NA-T


NA-NT









38

level of written curiosity, amount of psychomotor

curiosity, amount of invested mental effort, and verbal

ability) had upon the dependent variables (criterion

measures of knowledge and inferences, and curiosity).


In addition to main effec

investigation of Aptitude


ts, the design permitted


Treatment interactions.


Treatments


The following is a summary of instructions that

were placed on 5" x 8" typewritten cards and received by

students in the four treatment conditions.

1. Subjects in treatment one were given attention

cues in the form of questions about salient


features of the shells in the exhibit.


reference to a test was underlined in red pencil


and subjects were instructed to learn as much


possible for the test.


Subjects in treatment two were given the same


attention cues


in treatment one, but no


reference to a test was given nor were subjects


instructed to learn


as much


possible.


Subjects in treatment three were not given


questions


as attention cues, but a reference to


S1-P.St w s iwndnrlinsd in rrI nrnri1 nnd cih-ia3r-o










4. Subjects in treatment four were not given


questions


attention cues, not cued for a


test, nor instructed to learn as much as

possible.

All subjects were encouraged to touch the shells and to

return them to their respective places in the exhibit.

The time frame of 10 minutes was indicated on all

treatment cards.


Instructional Materials


Each subject received one of four typed instruc-


tional cards.


Each card contained a short section of


directions which was read aloud to the subject; the

subject was instructed to read the rest of the card


silently.


Two treatment cards included questions


pertinent to the 41 shells in the exhibit and two cards


had no such questions.


These questions were designed to


provide both attention cues and a schema about which

students could organize information they gleaned from


the exhibit.


The cards also varied on whether or not


the subject was alerted to a forthcoming test.


Four


middle school science teachers examined the materials

and found them to be appropriate for sixth grade

students.










conditions) or six sentences (in the treatments that


cued for a test). A

and shell hinge was


section defining univalve,


worded


bivalve,


the same in all treatments,


but was categorized differently.


In the no test cue


conditions,


the category was "Some Information";


in the


treatments that cued for a test,


Clues."


the category was "Some


A section appeared with identical questions


that served


attention cues.


When the questions were


in conjunction with the test cue treatments,


they were


labeled "Some More Clues," in the no test cue


conditions,


the heading was "Some Things to Think


About.


Students carried


the assigned treatment card


with them during the entire period they were in the

vicinity of the shell exhibit so that they could refer

to the questions or to any other part of the treatment


needed.


The initial written materials were field tested

with a group of 32 sixth graders in another rural middle


school.


The information gained from the field test was


used to revise the materials in order to increase their

clarity and ensure that all students could read them


easily.


A Fry (1968) readability estimate of the


treatment cards indicated an approximate reading level










Measures


Aptitudes


Subjects were given aptitude measures of verbal


ability,


general curiosity,


and science curiosity prior


to the treatment.


These were given based on the


possibility that they could affect the learning process


during the time the subjects viewed


the shell exhibit.


The verbal ability measure (Vocabulary-l) was taken from

the Kit of Reference Tests for Cognitive Factors


(French, Ekstrom,


& Price,


1963).


It consisted of


parts of 18 words each which the students had to define


by choosing 1 of 4 meanings;


each part was timed for


4 minutes.


The reliability coefficient as 0.69.


Since


this measure had its lower limit at the sixth grade

level and because students seemed to have difficulty


with it,


the scores were correlated with other measures


available from school records.


This vocabulary measure


significantly correlated with IQ (r


= 0.40,


= 0.0001)


and with reading scores taken at the beginning of the


school


year (r


= 0.43,


2 =-0.0001).


Since there were


missing values for new students of school available


scores,


they were not used in the analyses.


General curiosity was measured by an adaptation of









42


discriminate validity with IQ (0.06 for girls and 0.24

for boys) demonstrating that curiosity is a trait


different from, and independent of, IQ.


The test


developers also reported a significant positive

correlation between reactive curiosity and three

measures of the Guilford's Unusual Uses Test (Guilford,


1956) indicating criterion validity.


Content validity


was established by a group of upper elementary school


teachers.


Only the items identified by the test


developers as those which significantly discriminated

extreme scorers and the 10 "lie" items were reworded and


adapted for this study.


The questions used in this


study to determine general curiosity can be found in

Appendix C.

The aptitude of science curiosity was measured by

an adaption of the Children's Science Curiosity Scale


(Harty & Beall, 1984).


This instrument had an alpha


coefficient of internal consistency of 0.85 for its


Likert-type scale items.


Construct validity was


established with a Scott's coefficient of interrater


reliability of 0.77 among eight judges.


Predictive


validity was determined by correlating the levels of

srienen crinsity of another ornuin of fifth oraderm to








43


The amount of invested mental effort (AIME) was

measured immediately following the treatment and prior

to all other posttest measures so that the AIME measured


would be that which applied

the criterion tests. The q


to the exhibit and not to


questions given were those


suggested by


Salomon (1983)


involving the subject's


perception of the task as to difficulty,


worth of


learning,


how to learn it,


and how deeply to learn it.


Each question had four choices which had scoring


gradations from 1


point


to 4 points with a total


possible score of


reliability was 0.38.


The Kuder-Richardson 21


The questions used to determine


the AIME can be found in Appendix E.

Psychomotor curiosity was timed with a stopwatch by

an observer while the subject was in the vicinity of the


shell exhibit.


The student's manipulation of the


objects in the exhibit was psychomotor as defined by


several researchers (Cantor & Cantor,


1966; Henderson,


1980; Maw & Maw,


1964;


Peterson,


1979;


Peterson & Lowery,


1972).


Posttests


All subjects received a 20-item written criterion












single word answer. The se

multiple choice items (with


cond portion contained 6


alternatives) which


required the subjects to make inferences about what they


had viewed in the exhibit.


Four additional inferential


items required the students to draw (1)


shape of an animal


the size and


they thought lived in a particular


shell,


how a baby animal


would appear in its shell,


how the same animal would appear as a one year old,


and (4) again as a five year old,


with growth changes.


The Kuder-Richardson 21 reliability coefficients were


0.60 for the knowledge items,


items.


and 0.57


for the inference


Content validity was established by four


A readability estimate (Fry,


1968)


judges.


indicated an


approximate reading level of the fourth grade.


This


posttest appears in Appendix F.

The general curiosity posttest was the same as that


described above under aptitudes.


The curiosity posttest


pertaining to science was an adaptation of Leherissey's

(1971) which had a reliability coefficient of 0.89. It

was designed to determine a subject's curiosity after


interaction with a curiosity evoking stimulus.


wording of this posttest was amended


i1iliia nO


to reflect a stim-


th r f h I 0,, 1 l ,om avh-4 h- th n i +-a4


""Pi~dn t t n ^^- ^tf











Table 3
Reliabilities of Measures Used


Measure Reliability


Aptitudes


Vocabulary


0.69


General curiosity


Science curiosity


0.38


AIME

Posttests


Factual knowledge


0.60


Inferential ability


0.57


General curiosity


0.75


Science curiosity


0.89


0.75
















CHAPTER IV
RESULTS


The primary purposes of this study were


To investigate the differences in learner


achievement when the treatments varied in (a)

the presence or absence of attention focusing


questions,


the presence or absence of


test cues;

To examine the relationship between the


students'

curiosity


initial curiosity levels to their

levels after a novel, hands-on


informal learning experience;

To investigate the interaction of each of


the four aptitudes (verbal ability,


general


curiosity,


science curiosity,


the amount


of effort invested in the learning

experience), with the various treatments.


The results of the anal


yses


of the instructional


treatment main effects will be followed by the analyses


of the Aptitude x Treatment effects.


All analyses were


computed using the University of Florida Statistical











Variables


All four treatment cards included a similar section

of procedural directions, with test cues indicated in


two of the four treatments.


A second section included


definitions relevant to the shell exhibit, and a third

section contained attention cues in two of the four

treatment conditions.

Data were collected for all subjects on measures of

verbal ability, pretest written general curiosity,

pretest written science curiosity, and the amount of


invested mental effort.


Descriptive statistics for


these variables are reported in Table 4.

Scores were obtained for the subjects in each


treatment group on the posttest composed of


questions.


The scores were subsequently divided into a


score for 10 factual items (constructed responses) and

another for 10 inferential items (6 forced choice items

plus 4 items that required the students to draw what


they had deduced from the exhibit).


Additionally, the


length of time that students spent in the vicinity of


the exhibit was recorded.


These cell frequencies,


means, and standard deviations are reported in Table 5.














































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behavior psychomotorr curiosity).


Descriptive


statistics for these variables are reported in Table 6.

Written general curiosity and science curiosity change


scores appear in Table 7.


Since change scores are


unstable and unreliable, they are presented only for

visual inspection and interest.


Instructional Treatment Main Effects


The following hypotheses were of major concern

relative to instructional treatment main effects.


subjects receiving treatment cards with


attention focusing questions about the museum

exhibit will perform significantly better on a

written criterion measure than subjects

receiving treatment cards with no attention

cues.

2. Subjects receiving treatment cards with cues

that refer to a forthcoming achievement test

about the museum exhibit will perform

significantly better on the criterion measure

than subjects receiving treatment cards with no

reference to a test.

In order to investigate main effects for attention















































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53


included the constructed factual items, the inferential

items (forced choice items and items that required


drawings), and the total posttest.


Summary F values


for these three models are presented in Table 8.

There were no significant main effects detected for

either attention cues or test cues with any of the

dependent measures.


Mental Effort and Inferences


The following hypothesis was of major concern

relative to the amount of invested mental effort of the

subjects and their ability to make inferences about the

museum exhibit.

Subjects receiving treatment cards with test cues

will be influenced to invest more mental effort

and will perform significantly better on the

inference portion of the criterion measure than

subjects not receiving these cues.

Analyses of variance were performed to determine the

effect of (1) test cues versus no test cues upon the

dependent variable of mental effort, (2) test cues

versus no test cues upon the inference portion of the

criterion test, and (3) the amount of mental effort upon

the inferences made on the inference portion of the










Table 8
Summary Table of Dependent Variable Main Effects


Source df SS MS F


Constructed factual items


Attention Cues


Test Cues


3.12


0.67


2.76


0.59


Residual


4.64


Total


590.20


Inferential items


Attention Cues


6.12

1.91


Test Cues


6.12

1.91


1.91

0.60


Residual


404.78


3.21


Total


412.81


Total Posttest


Attention Cues


Test Cues


17.98

9.26


17.98

9.26


1.74

0.90


Residual


1302


10.34


Total


1329.81










Table 9
Analyses of Variance for Mental Effort and Inferences


Source df SS MS F


Amount of Mental Effort
Test Cues 1 6.02 6.02 0.84
Residual 67 477.71 7.13
Total 68 483.73


Inferences
Test Cues 1 13.8 13.8 4.06 *
Residual 67 232.8 3.4
Total 68 246.6


Inferences
Mental Effort 1 12.70 12.70 4.08 *
Residual 122 379.65 3.11
Total 123 392.35









56


When the amount of invested mental effort was the

dependent variable, no test cue effect was detected, F


(1, 67)


= 0.84, 2


.05.


However, a significant


difference in subjects' performance on the inference

portion of the criterion measure was detected in those


treatments containing test cues, F(1, 67)


.04.


4.06, 2


With an error rate per family set at .05, a


Bonferroni t test indicated that the nature of the

difference in performance on the inference portion of

the criterion measure was in favor of those subjects in

the treatment that contained test cues only over those

subjects in the treatment that contained both test cues

and attention cues.

A significant mental effort effect was found,


F(1, 122)


4.08, .


.039, when the inference portion


of the criterion test was the dependent measure.

Subjects who invested more mental effort were able to

make more and better inferences than those who invested

less mental effort.


Curiosity


The following hypothesis was of major concern

relative to curiosity.











and written curiosity measures after their

interaction with the exhibit than subjects who

have low levels of written curiosity.

Analyses of variance were performed using psychomotor


curiosity (time spent


hands-on exploratory behavior),


written posttest general curiosity, and written posttest


science curiosity


dependent measures.


Summary


statistics of these analyses appear in Table 10.

Although no significant pretest written science

curiosity effect was detected when psychomotor curiosity

was the dependent measure, it approached significance,


, 122)


3.37,


.068.


The pretest written science


curiosity variabi


was found to be significant,


F(1,


122)


11.63, 2


.0009, when posttest written


science


curiosity was the dependent measure.


A significant


written general curiosity effect was also detected

when the posttest written general curiosity was the


dependent variable, F(l, 121)


16.51, p


.0001.


Aptitude x Treatment Interactions


The following hypothesis was of major concern

relative to Aptitude x Treatment interactions.

There will be a differential relationship between











Tabl


e 10


Analyses of Variance for Curiosity Levels


Source df SS MS F


Psychomotor Curiosity


Pretest


94726.56


94726.56


3.37


Written Science
Curiosity


Residual


3428987.83
3523714.39


Total


28106.46


Posttest Written Science Curiosity


Pretest


241.54


41.54


11.63


Written Science
Curiosity


Residual


Total


2534.42
2775.96


20.77


Posttest Written General Curiosity


Pretest


127.95


127.95


16.51


Written General
Curiosity


Residual


937.71
1065.66


Total


7.75











Aptitude


x Attention Cues x Test Cues


Since both attention cues and test cues were varied

in the study, possible three-way interactions between

student aptitudes and treatment conditions were


investigated.


A regression equation for a two-way


analysis of covariance was utilized in order to detect


any interactions.


The possibility of an interaction for


each treatment condition was derived by comparing the


regression slopes.


An Aptitude


x Treatment interaction


existed if the regression lines were significantly


nonparallel.


Analyses were employed using the factual


items (constructed responses), the inferential items

(forced choice and drawing items), the total posttest,

and posttest science curiosity measure.

Three-way interactions were investigated using the


10 factual items


the dependent variable.


No signi-


ficant interactions were found for general curiosity,


F(l, 127)


122)


.71, p


.11, p


.40; for science curiosity, F(1,


.74; for the amount of invested mental


effort, F(1, 127)


.19, .p


.67; or for psychomotor


curiosity, F(l, 127)


1.15, 2


.29.


A significant


interaction was detected for verbal ability, F(1, 127)


4.38, p


.04.


The summary statistics for this











Table 11


Summary of Statist
Verbal Ability


ics for Testing Interactions of
x Attention Cues x Test Cues


Source df SS MS F


Factual Items


Verbal Ability


Attention


Test


19.65


19.65


4.38


Residual


570.55


4.49


Total


590.20


Inferential Items


Verbal Ability


Attention


x Test


4.03


4.03


1.25


Residual


408.77


3.22


Total


412.80


Total Posttest


Verbal Ability


Attention


x Test


41.50


41.50


4.09 *


Residual


1228.32


10.14


Total


1329


Posttest Science Curiosity


Verbal Ability x


Attention


x Test


1.50


1.50


Residual


2932.08


23.09











variable.


No significant interactions were found for


general curiosity, F(1, 122)


.89, 2


.35;


for science


curiosity, F(1, 122)


.09, 2


invested effort F(1, 127)

motor curiosity, F(l, 127)


.76; for the amount of


.20, .2

.01, 2


.65; for psycho-

.91; or for verbal


ability, F(l, 127)


1.25, _


.26.


The summary


statistics for the Verbal Ability


x Attention Cues


Test Cues interaction appear in Table 11.

Possible three-way interactions were investigated


using the total posttest


the dependent variable.


significant interactions were found for general


curiosity, F(1, 122)


1.18, _


.28;


for science


curiosity F(1, 122)


.15, 2_


.70; for the amount of


invested mental effort, F(1, 127)

psychomotor curiosity, F(1, 127)


.29,

.61, 2


.59; or for


.44.


significant interaction was detected for verbal ability,


F(1, 127)


= 4.09,


.04.


The summary statistics for


this verbal ability interaction are found in Table 11.

Finally, three-way interactions were investigated

using posttest science curiosity as the dependent


variable.


No significant interactions were found for


general curiosity, F(l, 122)


.26, p


.61; for science


curiosity F(1, 122)


1.51, 2


.22;


for the amount of










62
Test cues interaction appear with the other verbal

ability interaction statistics in Table 11.

The existence of significant three-way interactions


involving Verbal Ability


x Attention Cues


x Test Cues


suggested further analyses.


Verbal Ability


Two-way interactions for


x Attention Cues holding test cues


constant and for Verbal Ability


x Test Cues holding


attention cues constant were examined.


Test Cues Constant


Analyses were performed to determine if


interactions existed in the test cue treatments.


significant Verbal Ability


x Attention Cues interactions


were found for inferential items, F(l, 66)

.56, or for the total posttest, F(1, 66) =


.34, 2


45, J


.12, although the interaction for factual items


approached significance, F(l, 66)


= 3.46, 2


.06.


Attention Cues Constant


Additional analyses were performed to determine if

interactions existed in the attention cue treatments.

When attention cues were given, significant Verbal


Ability


Test Cue interactions were found for factual


items, F(l, 59)


7.74, p


.007 and for the total


L










were found for factual items, F(1, 66)

and for the total posttest, F(1, 66) =


= 9.18, .

9.53, =


= .004

.003.


No significant interaction was found for inferential


items, F(1, 66)


3.32,


.07.


Summary statistics for


these Verbal Ability


x Test Cue interactions appear in


Tables 12 and 13.


The above Verbal Ability


x Test Cue interactions


for factual items and for the total posttest are


represented in Figures 1 and


respectively.


Slopes


and intercepts for the two dependent measures are

summarized in Table 14.

For factual items, when attention cues were given,

the interaction indicated a significant difference in

the regression slopes of the test cue and no test cue

treatments; the attention, no test condition (A-NT) with

a negative slope favored students of low verbal ability

and the attention, test cue condition (A-T) with a

positive slope favored students of high verbal ability.

When no attention cues were given, the regression

slopes of the test cue and no test cue condition were


significantly different for factual items.


The no test


treatment again favored students of low verbal ability

while the test cue treatment favored the high ability












Table 12


Statistics for Verbal Ability


Test Cue Interactions


(Attention Cues Given)


Source df SS MS F


Factual Items


Verbal Ability
x Test Cue


29.57


29.57


7.74


Residual


3.82


Total


Inferential Items


Verbal Ability
x Test Cue


10.56


10.56


3.79


Residual


164.65


2.79


Total


175.21


Total Posttest


Verbal Ability
x Test Cue


Residual


490.87


75.49


9.07


8.32


Total


566.36












Table 13


Statistics for Verbal Ability


Test Cue Interactions


(No Attention Cues Given)


Source df SS MS F


Factual Items


40.53


Verbal Ability
x Test Cue


40.53


9.18


Residual


291.47


4.42


Total


332.00


Inferential Items


Verbal Ability
x Test Cue


11.09


11.09


3.32


Residual


220.38


3.34


Total


237.47


Total Posttest


94.04


Verbal Ability
x Test Cue


94.04


9.53


Residual


651.43


9.87


Total


745.47
















































































































































































































S


B





v *


*














Table 14


Intercepts and Slop
For Verbal Ability


for Regression Lines
Treatment Interactions


a
Treatment Intercept Slope


Factual Items


A-T


A-NT


-.03


NA-T


NA-NT


Total Posttest


A-NT


NA-T


NA-NT


5.94


= attention cues given, test cue given;


A-NT
NA-T


= attention cues


no attention


cues


ven


, no test cue given;


given, test cue given


NA-NT


= neither attention cues nor test cue given.








69


test cue treatment favored the high ability students.

When no attention cues were given, an ordinal

interaction was found between the test cue condition

and the no test cue condition.


Two-Way Interactions with Other Aptitudes


Since no three-way interactions of Aptitude x Test

Cue x Attention Cues were detected for science

curiosity, psychomotor curiosity, and the amount of

mental effort, analyses were performed investigating


possible two-way interactions.


The following 24


combinations of independent and dependent variables were

used to investigate Aptitude x Treatment interactions:


1. Science Curiosity


x Attention Cues for factual


items,


Science Curiosity x Attention Cues for inferen-


tial items,

3. Science Curiosity x Attention Cues for total

posttest,


4. Science Curiosity


x Attention Cues for posttest


written curiosity,


Psychomotor Curiosity x Attention Cues for


factual items,
n n -^ n ^












8. Psychomotor Curiosity


x Attention Cues for


posttest written curiosity,

9. Amount of Invested Mental Effort x Attention

Cues for factual items,

10. Amount of Invested Mental Effort x Attention

Cues for inferential items,

11. Amount of Invested Mental Effort x Attention

Cues for total posttest,


12. Amount of Invested Mental Effort


x Attention


Cues for posttest written curiosity,


13. Science Curiosity

14. Science Curiosity


x Test Cue for factual items,

x Test Cue for inferential


items,


15. Science Curiosity


x Test Cue for total


posttest,


16. Science Curiosity


x Test Cue for posttest


written curiosity,


17. Psychomotor Curiosity


x Test Cue for factual


items,

18. Psychomotor Curiosity x Test Cue for

inferential items,


19. Psychomotor Curiosity


x Test Cue for total












21. Amount of Invested Mental Effort

for factual items,


x Test Cue


Amount of Invested Mental Effort x Test Cue


for inferential items,


Amount of Invested Mental Effort x Test Cue


for total posttest,


24. Amount of Invested Mental Effort


x Test Cue for


posttest written curiosity.


Of the above 24 interactions studied,


interactions were detected.


significant


When posttest written


science curiosity was the dependent variable, signifi-

cant interactions were found for Pretest Science


Curiosity


x Attention Cues F(1, 122)


= 4.35, p


= .04;


for the Amount of Invested Mental Effort


x Test Cue,


F(1, 127)


= 4.21, p


.04; and for Psychomotor Curiosity


x Test Cue, F(1, 127)


= 4.51, 2.


.04.


F values for the


nonsignificant interactions appear in Tables 15 and 16.

The statistics for the significant interactions are


summarized in Table 17.


Figures 3, 4, and 5 represent


the regression lines for the significant interactions;

the slopes and intercepts are found in Table 18.

Follow-up Bonferroni t tests on the Pretest Science











Table 15


Nonsignificant F Value


s for Aptitude x Treatment


Interactions for Factual Items and Inferential Items


Interaction df F


Factual Items


Science Curiosity x Attention

Science Curiosity x Test Cue


1, 122

1, 122


Mental Effort

Mental Effort


x Attention

x Test Cue


1, 127

1, 127


1.90

.01


Psychomotor Curiosity x Attention

Psychomotor Curiosity x Test Cue


1, 127

1, 127


3.01

1.49


Inferential Items


Science Curiosity x Attention

Science Curiosity x Test Cue

Mental Effort x Attention

Mental Effort x Test Cue

Psychomotor Curiosity x Attention

Psychomotor Curiosity x Test Cue


1, 122

1, 122

1, 127

1, 127

1, 127

1, 127


1.10

.09

3.43

.00

.79

.20











Table 16


Nonsignificant F Values for Aptitude


x Treatment


Interactions For Total Posttest and
Posttest Science Curiosity


Interaction df F


Total Posttest


Science Curiosity


x Attention


1, 122


1.53


Science


Curiosity


Mental Effort


x Test Cue


x Attention


1, 122


1, 127


3.58


Mental Effort x Test Cue


1, 127


Psychomotor Curiosity

Psychomotor Curiosity


x Attention

x Test Cue


1, 127

1, 127


2.74

1.13


Posttest Written Science Curiosity


Science Curiosity x Test Cue


1, 122


3.56


Mental Effort


Attention


Psychomotor Curiosity


x Attention


1, 127


1, 127


3.80

3.12








74

Table 17
Summary Statistics for Significant Two Way Interactions


Source df. SS MS F


Posttest Written Science Curiosity


Science Curiosity
x Attention Cues


95.64


95.64


4.35


Residual


2680.32


21.97


Total


2775.96


Posttest Written Science Curiosity


Amount of Invested


94.10


94.10


4.21


Mental Effort
Test Cue


Residual


2839.49


22.36


Total


2933.59


Posttest Written Science Curiosity


Psychomotor
Curiosity x
Test Cue


100.66


100.66


4.51


Residual


2832


22.31


Total


2933.58


*2











I I

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t) -r-
PI 0
WL


IU -
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1















































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000


I-i















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Table 18
Intercepts and Slopes for Regression Lines
For Posttest Written Science Curiosity
As the Dependent Variable


a
Treatment Intercept Slope


Pretest Science Curiosity x Attention Cues Interaction

A-NT 23.0 .23

NA-NT 25.1 .01


Amount of Mental Effort x Test Cue Interaction

A-T 19.8 .10

A-NT 21.7 .02


Psychomotor Curiosity x Test Cue Interaction

A-T 23.6 .01

A-NT 22.3 .24


A-T = attention cues given, test cue given;
A-NT = attention cues given, no test cue given;
NA-NT = neither attention cues nor test cue given.












resulted in higher posttest science curiosity


scores


those subjects with higher pretest science curiosity

scores while the no attention cue condition favored

those subjects who had lower pretest science curiosity

scores.


The Amount of Mental Effort


x Test Cue interaction


indicated for the attention, no test cue treatment

(A-NT) the regression line was flatter; thus students

who invested a low amount of mental effort benefited


more from a treatment with those conditions.


For those


students who invested a high amount of mental effort,

the attention cues, test cue treatment (A-T) produced


higher posttest science curiosity


scores.


Follow-up Bonferroni t tests on the Psychomotor

Curiosity x Test Cue interaction indicated that the

nature of the difference was between the attention cues,

test cue treatment (A-T) versus the attention cues, no

test cue treatment (A-NT). Subjects who spent more time

exploring the shells in the exhibit had higher posttest

science curiosity scores in the A-NT treatment; thus

subjects who explored less had higher posttest science

curiosity scores in the attention, test cue treatment.













CHAPTER V
DISCUSSION AND IMPLICATIONS


This study examined the effects of the presence or

absence of attention cues and the presence or absence of

test cues upon learning achievement in a museum setting.

Posttest curiosity was examined in relation to these


cues and pretest curiosity.


Also of interest was what


treatment modifications appeared best for particular
*


types of students.


Some principles upon which this


study was based included the following:


1. Since attention


necessary for learning to


take place, many students require cues and

focusing devices to hold their attention.

Structure and organization of the material to be

learned reduces the internal processing burden

placed upon the learner.


3. Any variable such


knowledge of the criterion


task may influence the learner's perception of

the task, thereby influencing the amount of

mental effort invested by the learner.

4. Curiosity increases interest and manipulation.

5. The effectiveness of the treatments will vary











Instructional Treatment Main Effects


Cues


The first two hypotheses tested were

1. Subjects receiving treatment cards with

attention focusing questions about the museum

exhibit will perform significantly better on a

written criterion measure than subjects

receiving treatment cards with no attention

cues.


Subjects receiving treatment cards with cues


that refer to a forthcoming achievement test

about the exhibit will perform significantly

better on the criterion measure than subjects

receiving treatment cards with no reference to

a test.

In order to investigate main effects for attention

cues and test cues, a regression equation was used


containing both attention cues and test cues


components of the regression model.


Dependent measures


included the constructed factual items, the inferential


items, and the total posttest.


A significant F


statistic would have indicated differences between

treatment conditions; however, no significant main







82


These students may have considered the experience

"fun" rather than educational--a welcome escape from the

regular classroom agenda; therefore, they may not have

taken advantage of the cues for the purpose of learning.

Since pre-orientation to the museum exhibit was not part

of the experimental design, subjects were not alerted

to the educational objectives of the exhibit.

Researchers (Gennaro, 1981; P. M. Smith, 1981; Wright,

1980) demonstrated that subjects who were not oriented

to a museum or field trip learned less than those

subjects who had been pre-oriented by materials or by


other means.


This may have contributed to these


subjects' mere perusal rather than specific study of the

shell exhibit.

In addition to the lack of focus toward an

educational outcome, the existence of the "novelty

interference" phenomenon may have been at work here.

Exposure to an exhibit for these students may have had


much the same effect


the "novel" field trip--


primarily reducing their focus of attention and reducing

the coding of specific salient features of the exhibit

(Falk et al., 1978; Falk & Balling, 1980; Gennaro, 1981;

Sneider et al., 1979). These students also may have not







83


cues given, the effect on these subjects could have been

a reduction in attention which resulted in their

inability to code information which, in turn, interfered

with their memory storage and retrieval capabilities as

outlined by learning theorists (Bransford, 1979; Gagne,


1977).


Another explanation is that attention cues alone


or test cues alone are not adequate in and of themselves

to influence effective coding and memory storage.

Similarly, the lack of a memory structure as Shettel et

al. (1968) referred to in that study, may have acted to

negate the effects of the attention cues even if some


short term storage did occur.


A follow up discussion on


these possibilities is presented in the section on


Aptitude


x Treatment interactions.


The data, therefore,


did not support either the first or second hypothesis.


Mental Effort and Inferences


The third hypothesis tested was


3. Subjects receiving treatment cards with test

cues will be influenced to invest more mental

effort and will perform significantly better

on the inference portion of the criterion

measure than subjects not receiving these cues.
AI ^--^ I nA nnn tAia rarj^ T- nan tn rho












differences between treatment conditions.


Bonferroni t


tests were used to detect the nature of any differences.

When the inference portion of the criterion test

was the dependent measure, a significant mental effort


effect was detected.


As anticipated, subjects who


invested more mental effort were able to make more and

better inferences than those who invested less mental


effort.


This finding is in accordance with that of


Salomon (1984).


He reported that those subjects who


perceived learning from print more difficult than

learning from television applied more mental

elaborations and used more cognitive strategies during


the task than those who perceived the task


as easy.


addition to a high perceived demand characteristic

(PDC), these learners were also likely to have a high

level of perceived self-efficacy (PSE) which Salomon

found to be related to the amount of invested mental


effort.


Thus, attention was more focused, for longer


periods of time, facilitating both coding and memory


storage.


Hence, these students made more and better


inferences from the information they were able to store.

When the inference portion of the criterion measure

J a O I" an Annano ns rt erl a i a e c, n, C4 iF ilf 4*













attention cues.


This finding is supported by Salomon's


(1983) contention that students are influenced to invest

more mental effort due to their own perception of the


task's worth,


how much attention they should give to it,


how they should learn it,


and how deeply they


should


learn it.

The treatment with both test cues and attention

cues appeared to contain attention cues that students


did not need,


that they did not utilize,


or that they


discarded.


Students may have discarded the cues because


such cues interfered with their own cognitive strategies

and abilities to attend to the stimuli presented in the


shell exhibit,


code the information, and store it in


memory (Dansereau,


1982b;


Holliday,


1981; Reidbord,


1979).


If students did utilize the attention cues,


they


could have perceived them as "forward shaping" cues


(Anderson,


1970; Rothkopf,


1970; J.


Wilson & Koran,


1976).

to find


This type of cue usually preconditions students

only those answers germane to the attention


cues given while hindering their ability to acquire and

code for incidental learning (inferences) not specified


by the attention cues (Frase,


1968; J.


Wilson,


1973).












importance of the task.


These students may have been


influenced by the test cue alone to perceive the task


important to learn thereby giving the task the necessary


attention without written attention cues.


Then by


applying their individual appropriate mental elabora-

tions to the task, they were able to process the

information at a deeper more meaningful level than


those in the attention cue group.


This deep processing


(Bransford, 1979) enabled them to make superior infer-


ences.


Thus, the data supported the third hypothesis.


Curiosity


The fourth hypothesis tested was

4. Subjects who demonstrate high levels of written

curiosity before approaching the exhibit will

perform significantly better on both the psycho-

motor and written curiosity measures after their

interaction with the exhibit than subjects who

have low levels of written curiosity.

Although there was no significant effect for

pretest written science curiosity when psychomotor

curiosity was the dependent measure, it approached


significance.


These


variables were significantly











1972), it


not surprising that some students preferred


to express curiosity in a written form, some as explora-

tory or psychomotor behaviors, and some as verbal

behaviors which included students' unsolicited

questions.

When posttest written science curiosity was the

dependent measure, pretest written curiosity was found


to be significant.


Similarly, when posttest written


general curiosity was the dependent measure, there was a


significant general written curiosity effect.


respective pretest and posttest curiosity measures were


also significantly correlated.


When each written


pretest had a corresponding written posttest, the same

type of curiosity was measured within each set of


curiosity levels. Each pretest curiosity measure itself

could have functioned as a cueing or attention focusing


device, particularly since it was given only a week


prior to the posttest.


Thus, the data partially


supported hypothesis 4 when written measures were given


both


a pretest prior to, and as a posttest after, the


subjects' interaction with a hands-on museum exhibit.

The descriptive statistics indicated that the

opportunity to manipulate the shells in the exhibit, no








88

which may have encouraged students to express behaviors


they did not previously possess.


This correlates with


previous research on the attraction of participatory

exhibits (J. J. Koran et al., 1984; Oppenheimer, 1972).


Aptitude


x Treatment Interactions


The fifth hypothesis tested was

5. There will be a differential relationship

between criterion performance and aptitudes of


subjects


as measured by the vocabulary,


curiosity, and invested mental effort measures.

This hypothesis was tested by comparing the


regression slopes for each treatment condition.


Aptitude


x Treatment interaction existed if the


regression lines were significantly nonparallel.


Three-Way Interactions


Significant three-way interactions were detected

for the aptitude of Verbal Ability x Attention Cues x


Test Cues. Additional analyses revealed the nature of

the interaction. For the attention cue treatments, the


Verbal Ability x Test Cue interaction was significant


for factual items and for the total posttest.


For both


dependent variables, the attention cues, no test cue
SjI Tr tr li I r* 1~ i __--_ 1....... -









89


Since subjects low in verbal ability need attention

devices, cues, and explicit rules to follow during a

learning situation in order to reduce the demand on

their own cognitive process (A. L. Brown et al., 1981;

Dansereau, 1982a; Ebmeier, 1978), the attention cue


treatment provided this instructional support.


This


treatment enabled low ability learners to systematize

incoming stimuli by having their attention alerted to

what was important as it provided them with a framework

for the information they were to learn from the exhibit.

Conversely, high ability students have been found

to perform best in a task-oriented environment which

leaves much of the cognitive processing and organization


to the learner (Ebmeier, 1978; Reidbord


, 1979).


The no


attention cues, test cue treatment (NA-T) fits into this


descriptive category.


The test cue defined the task for


high ability students and, without attention cues, these

subjects could develop their own strategies for learning

rather than being constrained in their thinking by


specific attention cues.


Thus, high ability students


did better in this type of treatment.

Vocabulary was the only aptitude with which there


- nn C .n A_ L n a 4. 4


'r l~ /^ wI n* T-r /^ r^











posttest.


This


consistent with previous Aptitude x


Treatment research (Cronbach & Snow, 1977) that has

demonstrated that general -ability, of which verbal is

an index, has repeatedly been the most common aptitude

found to enter into interactions.


Two-Way Interactions


Significant two-way interactions were detected when

posttest written science curiosity was the dependent


measure for the following:


(1) Pretest Written Science


Curiosity x Attention Cues, (2) the Amount of Invested

Mental Effort x Test Cue, and (3) Psychomotor Curiosity


x Test Cue.

Follow-up analyses of the Pretest Written Science


Curiosity


difference.


Attention Cues detected the nature of the

The no attention cues, no test cue


treatment (NA-NT) benefited those students who had lower

pretest science curiosity scores; the attention cues, no

test cue treatment (A-NT) was better for those subjects


with higher pretest science curiosity scores.


interpretation is that subjects low in pretest written


science curiosity were stimulated by the novel


, hands-on


stimulus of the shell exhibit; they were not distracted