• TABLE OF CONTENTS
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 Title Page
 Acknowledgement
 Table of Contents
 List of Tables
 Abstract
 Introduction
 Review of the literature
 Methodology
 Analyses and results
 Summary, discussion, conclusions,...
 Appendices
 References
 Biographical sketch














Title: Brain laterality and emotional processing in children
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Title: Brain laterality and emotional processing in children
Physical Description: ix, 76 leaves : ill. ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Woodward, James H. M., 1948-
Publication Date: 1984
Copyright Date: 1984
 Subjects
Subject: Laterality   ( lcsh )
Cerebral dominance   ( lcsh )
Intelligence tests   ( lcsh )
Emotions in children   ( lcsh )
Counselor Education thesis Ph. D
Dissertations, Academic -- Counselor Education -- UF
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Thesis: Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Florida, 1984.
Bibliography: Bibliography: leaves 67-74.
General Note: Typescript.
General Note: Vita.
Statement of Responsibility: by James H. M. Woodward.
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Bibliographic ID: UF00099492
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: alephbibnum - 000500665
oclc - 12084832
notis - ACS0297

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Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Page i
        Page ii
    Acknowledgement
        Page iii
        Page iv
    Table of Contents
        Page v
        Page vi
    List of Tables
        Page vii
    Abstract
        Page viii
        Page ix
    Introduction
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
    Review of the literature
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
    Methodology
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
    Analyses and results
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
    Summary, discussion, conclusions, implications, limitations, and recommendations
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
    Appendices
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
    References
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
    Biographical sketch
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
Full Text











BRAIN LATERALITY AND EMOTIONAL PROCESSING
IN CHILDREN
















BY
JAMES H. M. WOODWARD




















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



UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

1984




































TO
MEG AND ANTHONY














ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS


I would like to express my appreciation to those people

who have assisted me in the development of this study:

Dr. Don Avila, chairman of my doctoral committee, whose

friendship and humanitarianism has encouraged my own scholarly

pursuit;

Dr. Eileen Fennell, committee member, for patiently

educating me in the field of neuropsychology;

Dr. Larry Loesch, committee member, for opening my eyes

to the intricacies of educational research;

Dr. Steve Olejnik, committee member, for his invaluable

advice and tutelage in the areas of research design and

statistics;

Dr. William H. Edenfield, Supervisor of Psychological

Services, Marion County School System, for professional

leadership and encouragement;

Dr. Lee Rowell, Director of Student Services, Marion

County School System, for his administrative and moral

support;

Dr. Bruce Hartley, James Huckeba, Charles Porterfield,

and Mike Mishkin who assisted me in data collection;

Mary Miale for her expertise and perseverance in the

typing of this dissertation;










Janet and William Woodward, my parents, for their love

and personal support;

And especially, my wife, Meg, and my son, Anthony, for

their patience and understanding during these years of

educational pursuit.















TABLE OF CONTENTS

PAGE

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS...................... .....................iii

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

ABSTRACT ................................................viii

CHAPTER

I INTRODUCTION............................................ 1

Overview of the Study .............................1
Statement of the Problem..........................5
Statement of the Need..............................5
Purpose of the Study...............................7
Rationale for the Approach ........................8
Research Questions.................................9
Hypotheses.............................................. 9
Scope of the Study................................10
Definition of Terms...............................11
Overview of Remainder of Paper...................13

II REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE..........................14

The Development of Hemispheric Research........... 14
Brain Laterality and Emotion...................17
The Wechsler Scales and Brain Laterality.......21
Child Development and Learning Patterns........ 24
Laterality and Sex.............................26
Summary of Research Implications.................28

III METHODOLOGY................ .....................31

Overview of the Study.............................31
Variables......................................... 31
Subjects........................................ 32
Design..........................................33
Instrumentation................................. 33
iProcedures.............. ........................36
Methodological Limitations.....................37

IV ANALYSES AND RESULTS .............................39











V SUMMARY, DISCUSSION, CONCLUSIONS,
IMPLICATIONS, LIMITATIONS, AND
RECOMMENDATIONS.............................. .. 49

Summary......................... .................. 49
Discussion of Results ............................49
Conclusions ................................. ..... 52
Implications and Recommendations.................53
Limitations and Generalizability .................57

APPENDICES

A INTRODUCTION TO THE TASK.........................60

B TAPED EMOTIONAL MESSAGES .........................62

C SCORING SHEET FOR TAPED EMOTIONAL MESSAGES.......65

REFERENCES.... ............................................67

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ....... ................... .............75















LIST OF TABLES


TABLE PAGE

1 CELL MEANS AND (STANDARD DEVIATIONS) FOR
THE FACTORIAL DESIGN............................40

2 MARGINAL MEAN SCORES FOR LEVELS OF THE
THREE INDEPENDENT VARIABLES .....................41

3 WITHIN CELL CORRELATIONS FOR FULL SCALE IQ
WITH CONTENT.................................... 43

4 ADJUSTED MEAN CONTENT SCORES ......................46














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


BRAIN LATERALITY AND EMOTIONAL PROCESSING
IN CHILDREN

By

James H. M. Woodward

August, 1984

Chairman: Dr. Donald L. Avila
Major Department: Counselor Education

Recent studies in the area of brain functioning indicate

that the left and right cerebral hemispheres tend to be

dominant for differing functions. In particular, the left

hemisphere has been found to be dominant for language proces-

sing, while research suggests that the right hemisphere plays

a dominant role in the processing of emotional stimuli. The

research literature also indicates that a relationship exists

between the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Revised

(WISC-R) and hemispheric processing. This study investigated

the relationships between intelligence test scores, cerebral

hemisphere dominance, and the means by which certain groups

of children interpret emotion.

A total of 160 students with significant Verbal-Performance

IQ differences on the WISC-R were presented with an audio tape

of 32 emotional statements which varied on the dimensions of

emotional content and emotional tone. A 2 x 2 x 2 factorial

viii










design was utilized with Verbal-Performance IQ dominance,

sex, and age as completely crossed independent factors. The

dependent measure was the number of "content" answers to the

audio tape.

A negative relationship was found between Full Scale IQ

scores and response to the emotional content of the audio

tape. A comparison of the 6-10-year-old and 11-15-year-old

high Verbal groups found the older group responded signifi-

cantly more often to emotional tone. A comparison of the

older high Verbal and high Performance groups indicated the

high Verbal group again responded significantly more often to

the emotional tone of the taped statements. No significant

differences were found between the younger age groups or

between the high Performance groups. Sex was not found to

evidence as a significant factor.

It was concluded that while there is no difference

between the high Verbal and high Performance groups at the

younger age level, as children grow older, the high Verbal

students shift toward basing their interpretation of emotional

statements upon the tone of the speaker. High Performance

children, however, continue to respond similarly to the

younger age groups. It was observed that the change in the

response pattern of the high Verbal group coincides with

Piagetian developmental stages and with brain myelinization

stages.















CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTION


This study investigated the relationships between

intelligence test scores, cerebral hemisphere dominance,

and the means by which certain groups of children interpret

emotion.

Overview of the Study

As the understanding of human behavior becomes more

complete, educators are discovering indications that each

individual student has preferred modes by which he/she

receives and interprets information. These preferred modes

have sometimes been referred to as "learning (or cognitive)

styles." Psychologists employ various diagnostic instru-

ments in their efforts to determine these learning styles.

Intelligence tests, for example, are designed to diagnose

"intellectual potentials" as well as primary areas of

strength and weakness for processing information received

and consequent tendencies in terms of learning style.

Research relating to the styles and patterns of

effective learning has taken many directions and in recent

years increasing attention has been given to the left and

right cerebral hemispheres of the brain and their respec-

tive functions. Research directed toward gaining

additional understanding of the cerebral hemispheres and

1










their individual roles in the operation of the human

organism has generated excitement in the educational com-

munity, particularly in respect to the potential value of

this research when applied to the diagnosis of learning

styles. Ley (1983) emphasizes this point in the following:

It should be noted that what best dis-
tinguishes each hemisphere is the way in
which it works, rather than with what it
works: differences in hemispheric function-
ing relate more to the kind of information
processing, rather than to the information that
is processed. It is not so much that each
hemisphere is specialized to work with differ-
ent material--the left with words, the right
with spatial relationships--but that each is
organized to provide a different cognitive
style. The styles are more or less efficient
in the processing of different types of infor-
mation. For example, the left hemisphere has
been described as a logical, analytic, and
sequential processor for which words are most
appropriate. The right hemisphere has been
characterized as a holistic, gestalt, and
diffuse processor for which spatial forms or
patterns are most suited. (p. 255)

Some researchers have specifically investigated the

effects of brain damage in the individual hemispheres upon

subjects' abilities to comprehend the emotional content and

emotional tone of verbal statements. They hypothesize that

deficiencies, due to damage in one cerebral hemisphere or

the other, may limit an individual's ability to interpret

certain types of emotional cues provided by their environ-

ments. Damage to the right hemisphere is believed to impair

the patient's ability to interpret the emotional tone of a

verbal message while left hemisphere damage is believed to










impair his/her ability to comprehend the content of a verbal

message.

One instrument which is commonly used in the diagnosis

of learning problems in school children is the Wechsler

Intelligence Scale for Children-Revised (WISC-R). This test

yields both "Verbal" and "Performance" intelligence quotient

scores, as well as a "Full Scale" IQ which, according to the

manual, is designed to give an indication of "the overall

capacity of an individual to understand and cope with the

world around him" (Wechsler, 1974, p. 5). The Verbal-

Performance dichotomy is "primarily a way of identifying two

principal modes by which human abilities express themselves"

(Wechsler, 1974, p. 9). Both the Verbal and Performance

tests are made up of six subscales each (five of which are

commonly used and one which is employed as a "supplementary"

scale). Verbal-Performance dichotomies, as well as subtest

combinations, may be useful in describing a child's learning

profile (Kaufman, 1979; Sattler, 1974; Wechsler, 1974).

Recent studies, including a factor analysis by Kaufman

(1975), have indicated that the Verbal portion of the WISC-R

tends to measure left brain abilities while right brain

abilities tend to be measured by the Performance section of

the test. Additional analysis has also been completed by

Kaufman regarding the individual subscales of the WISC-R and

their factor loadings when applied to right and left hemis-

phere tasks.










In summary, there appears to be a relationship between

lateral cerebral function and the ability to perform specific

types of tasks. There also appears to be a relationship

between lateral cerebral ability and the Wechsler Verbal-

Performance dichotomy.

A great emphasis is currently being placed upon providing

students with an education appropriate to their individually

demonstrated needs. This trend has received particularly

strong support in special education in the wake of federal

legislation. Federal laws 89-313 and 94-142 speak specifi-

cally to the provision of "individual education plans" for

handicapped children. This individualized approach is requir-

ing school systems to look more closely at the individual

student in order to assess and address any special needs. In

the main, the major burden of this responsibility has been

assigned to the school psychologist, who is asked to evaluate

those students suspected of having unique difficulties in

profiting from the regular curriculum and to make recommenda-

tions designed to help alleviate these difficulties.

The psychologist's evaluation is based largely upon the

results of standardized test data. The increasing demand for

precise identification of problem areas for students has

resulted in increased research by psychologists as they seek

to obtain more information and greater precision from their

evaluative instruments (Sattler, 1974; Kaufman, 1979).






5



Statement of the Problem

The specific problem addressed in this study was that

psychologists, particularly school psychologists, are in

need of more definitive methods for diagnosing the learning

and response patterns of students. The duties of the

school psychologist include helping teachers to better

understand the individual learning styles of students and

to help students better understand themselves. This study

attempted to help solve this problem by utilizing current

research findings, such as those in the area of brain

research, and by attempting to gain more information from

the already widely used WISC-R.

Statement of the Need

This study was intended to provide more precise

information regarding the widely used WISC-R by examining

this test's relationship to children's abilities to inter-

pret emotional cues from their environment. Significant

results, relating WISC-R Verbal-Performance discrepancies

with children's styles of processing emotional stimuli,

would provide valuable information for both the practitioner

and the researcher in the areas of theory, research, practice,

and training. A practitioner, upon seeing a significant

Verbal-Performance split in a child's WISC-R profile, would

be able to predict whether the child is most likely to

respond to the content of an emotionally-laden message or

to the tone of the message. If the child has a significant










strength in the verbal area, the practitioner might attempt

to help the child to become more aware of emotional tone as

a means of improving the child's competence in social inter-

action. A child with a performance strength, who responds

primarily to emotional tone, might increase interpretive

accuracy when deciphering spoken language by learning to

give more focus to the content of messages.

Having cognitive emotional style information in the

child's psychological profile would enable teachers and

administrators to design teaching strategies tailored to

the child's best advantage. A student found to have a

verbal strength might respond most quickly and appropriately

when the content of the message is clear and concise.

Conversely, the student with a performance strength may

interpret emotional stimuli in the environment on the basis

of emotional tone and this factor would need to be considered

in the teaching of most behavioral expectancies and many

academic tasks.

Researchers interested in the right brain, left brain

dichotomy may find significant results from this study to be

useful in furthering the understanding of brain processes.

It has been shown that adults appear to process emotional

messages differently with the right brain than with the left

(Heilman, Scholes, & Watson, 1975; Tucker, Roth, & Armeson,

1977; Wechsler, 1973). Both the adult version of the

Wechsler (WAIS) and the WISC-R appear to relate well to










right and left brain abilities (Kraft, 1983; McGlone, 1978).

It, therefore, seems reasonable that a relationship between

the WISC-R Verbal-Performance Scales and right and left brain

types of tasks would have implications for the development of

the cerebral abilities of children.

Although much research designed to explore the brain

functioning of adults has been completed in the past two

decades, relatively little is known about the effects of

brain laterality in children. In particular, there has been

almost no research which specifically addresses emotion in

children as it relates to right and left cerebral hemisphere

processing in children.

Trainers in school and clinical psychology programs

are interested in helping their students to diagnose the

emotional traits and tendencies of children. Both disci-

plines also heavily employ the WISC-R. Trainers should find

the results of this study useful in the education of their

graduate level students.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study was to investigate the rela-

tionship between Verbal-Performance WISC-R scores and

children's abilities to interpret the emotional tone and

emotional content of sentences.

There was an attempt to answer the formulated research

questions and to provide for the uses elucidated in the areas

of practice, training, research, and theory within the

disciplines of school and clinical psychology.










Rationale for the Approach

The sample consisted of students found to have a signi-

ficant difference of 12 IQ points between their Verbal and

Performance scores on the WISC-R. These students were tested

for their tendencies to respond to the content or tone of

emotionally-charged messages by listening to an audio tape

containing 32 such messages. Eight of the messages contained

content which was consistent with the tone in which the

message was spoken, but the remaining 24 messages had

emotional content paired with contrasting emotional tone.

The individual subject's tendency to respond primarily to

the content or the tone of a message was compared with

his/her strength in the Verbal or Performance area. These

comparisons gave an indication of whether students with an

IQ strength in one area tend to focus upon the content or

the tone of a message and whether this tendency differs from

that of students with an IQ strength in the opposite

direction.

Although advances are occurring for directly measuring

the physiological properties and processes of the brain,

clinical assessment continues to be our most effective

measure and, therefore, is also the most often used. The

WISC-R has been chosen as it has been widely validated as

an instrument for intellectual evaluation. From a practical

standpoint, students who have been evaluated by this instru-

ment and exhibited significant differences between their










Verbal and Performance scores are readily available. The

age span which this test covers (6 through 17) also lends

itself to the population to be studied.

The audio tapes containing the emotionally-laden

messages have previously been used successfully with schizo-

phrenic adults. School age children were expected to find

the task novel and interesting. The task also allowed for

group administration which was desirable in light of the

number of subjects involved. Scoring was objective.

Research Questions

The research questions tested in this study were as

follows: (1) Is there a positive relationship between

children's preferences for interpreting the content of a

verbal statement and a significant Verbal-Performance split

on the WISC-R in favor of the Verbal score? (2) Is there a

positive relationship between children's preferences for

interpreting the tone of a verbal statement and a significant

Verbal-Performance split on the WISC-R in favor of the Per-

formance score? (3) Does the sex of the student have any

effect upon research questions 1 and 2? (4) Does the age

of the student have any effect upon research questions 1 and

2?

Hypotheses

This study tested the following null hypotheses concern-

ing the relationships between Verbal-Performance discrepancies

on the WISC-R, sex, and age as they related to the research

subjects' scores on the content measure.










Null Hypothesis 1: There will be no significant three-

way interaction between the high Verbal or high Performance

groups, sex, and age on the content measure.

Null Hypothesis 2: Differences between males and females

on the content measure will be the same across the two levels

of age.

Null Hypothesis 3: Differences on the content measure

between the high Verbal or high Performance groups will be

the same for males and females.

Null Hypothesis 4: Differences between the high Verbal

and high Performance groups on the content measure will be

the same across the two age groups.

Null Hypothesis 5: There will be no significant differ-

ence between subjects over the age of 11 and those under the

age of 11 on the content measure.

Null Hypothesis 6: There will be no significant differ-

ence between males and females on the content measure.

Null Hypothesis 7: There will be no significant differ-

ence between the high Verbal and high Performance groups on

the content measure.

Scope of the Study

The interpretation of the results of this study needs

to be made in the light of several limitations. The subjects

used in the study were Marion County, Florida, students refer-

red for psychological testing due to learning or behavioral

problems or for intellectual giftedness. This is a special

population whose characteristics may have influenced the results.










It should also be recognized that the audio tape

employed as the evaluative instrument was originally designed

for use with an adult population. Although the instrument's

applicability for use with children was explored via a pilot

study, certain individual students may have had inordinate

difficulty with the task, particularly those of lower intel-

ligence.

An additional concern regards the sex of the speaker on

the audio tape. The speaker was female and it is possible

that certain students may have responded differently if the

speaker was a male.

Definition of Terms

Anterior commissure--A bundle of fibers connecting phylo-

gentically older portions of the right and left cerebral

hemispheres.

Cerebral hemispheres--In the human brain, the two lateral

halves of the cortex and underlying white matter.

Cerebral localization--The tendency for specific types of

tasks to be governed by particular regions of the cerebral

cortex.

Corpus callosum--The massive bundle of nerve fibers connec-

ting the right and left cerebral hemispheres.

Dichotic listening studies--Brain research studies in which

material is introduced auditorily to the right and left ears

of subjects in separate presentations. Generally, measure-

ments of rate and accuracy of understanding are taken.










Emotional content--The emotional mood implied by the seman-

tic content of a verbal statement.

Emotionally-laden message--For the purposes of this study,

a verbal statement containing emotional content and/or

emotional tone.

Emotional tone--The emotional affect implied by the speaker's

tone of voice.

Hemispherectomy--Surgical removal of one of the cerebral

hemispheres.

Lateral cerebral function--Manner of processing stimuli or

task specificity of a cerebral hemisphere.

Left cerebral hemisphere--The "verbal" hemisphere; it tends

to analyze stimuli in a systematic sequential manner.

Myelination--The production of a white, fatty substance

surrounding portions of nerve axons that acts to increase

the speed and efficiency of nerve impulses.

Right cerebral hemisphere--Hemisphere which tends to analyze

stimuli in a "holistic" or gestalt manner and is also

believed by some authorities to mediate emotional processes.

Spatial recognition task--Research in which a subject

receives clues through one or more sense modalities with

which they are required to identify familiar forms or objects.

Tachistoscope--A device used to present visual stimuli of a

short duration.

Temporoparietal (lesions)--An area of destroyed or removed

brain tissue within the temporal or parietal lobes of the

cerebral cortex.










Visuospatial functions--The analysis of the relationships

between visually-perceived matter. Most often performed by

the right cerebral hemisphere.

Overview of Remainder of Paper

Chapter II reviews the literature and discusses the

theoretical frameworks underlying the various aspects of the

study. Implications for theory, research, training, and

practice are explored. Support for the instrumentation and

assessment procedures are also presented.

Chapter III identifies and delineates the variables

studied. The population is described and sampling proce-

dures listed. Descriptions of the research design, research

procedures, credential of participants, and data analysis

procedures are provided. Methodological limitations of the

study are discussed.

Chapter IV contains the data analysis and summary

tables. Chapter IV also addresses the hypotheses in light

of the research results.

Chapter V presents a summary of the paper. Implications

for theory, practice, research, and training are discussed in

light of answers to the research questions. Generalizability

and limitations of the study are also examined.















CHAPTER II

REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE


This study addressed human brain functioning and how

it can be measured. It specifically sought to understand

the individual differences among children and how they

interpret the statements of others. This chapter provides

a historical perspective of brain research and provides

research support for the current study. The variables of

sex and physiological development are discussed as they

relate to current brain research. The relationship between

brain hemisphericity and the Wechsler scales is also

examined.

The Development of Hemispheric Research

The human brain has presented as such a formidable

subject for study, that it is only in the most recent of

years that we have begun to make real advances into under-

standing the mechanisms of its operation. Although it had

been long understood that the brain was divided into left

and right cerebral hemispheres connected by bundles of

fibers, it was not until the early parts of the nineteenth

century that scientists began to suspect the brain of having

physiological regions of specialization and could be studied

from the viewpoint of "cerebral localization" (Springer &

Deutsch, 1981). As the century progressed, Gall, Bouillard,

14










Dax, Broca, Jackson, and others specifically concentrated

upon those medical patients who have lost the ability to pro-

duce speech and, via autopsy of these patients, concluded

that the area responsible for speech production was localized

in the left frontal lobe (Gibson, 1962). Other nineteenth

century researchers, most notably Wernicke and Liepmann,

discovered that the left hemisphere was also the seat of

other less obvious functions. Wernicke found the left side

to be dominant in the understanding of speech, while

Liepmann was able to show that purposeful movement was the

province of the left hemisphere, as well. Findings such as

these led Jackson to propose, in 1865, that while the left

hemisphere maintained control of language functions, the

right hemisphere managed perception and visual ideation

(Jackson, 1865/1958).

Nineteen hundred and thirty-five marked the first time

in which a large group of brain-damaged subjects was studied

intensively (Weisenberg & McBride, 1935). Subjects were

administered a variety of psychological tests. In general,

damage to the left hemisphere resulted in poorer language

ability, while damage to the right hemisphere resulted in

poorer scores on tests involving visuo-spatial abilities.

Research regarding the roles of the individual hemis-

pheres in the functioning of the total human being began in

earnest in the second half of this century and has incorpo-

rated a wide variety of innovative and ingenious techniques.










Much of this research was stimulated by the findings of Bogen

and Vogel (1962) who performed a series of surgical opera-

tions on epileptic patients, whereby they severed the corpus

callosum and the anterior commissure which connect the two

cerebral hemispheres. Though the goal of this operative

procedure was to control seizure activity, which was success-

fully accomplished, postoperative experiments with the

patients demonstrated differing functions and abilities in

the right and left hemispheres (Bogen, 1975; Gazzaniga, 1970;

Levy, 1974; Levy-Agresti & Sperry, 1968; Levy & Trevarthen,

1976; Levy, Trevarthen, & Sperry, 1972; Sperry, 1968; Sperry,

1974). The left hemisphere was again shown to be much

superior to the right in both the production and comprehen-

sion of language, while manual manipulation and perception

of spatial relationships were indicated to be the province

of the right hemisphere (Gazzaniga & Volpe, 1981).

Experiments conducted on patients under the effects of

sodium amytal in which one cerebral hemisphere has been

anesthetized have been useful in gaining estimates of the

percentages of right and left-handed populations having

speech represented in the left hemisphere (Rasmussen &

Milner, 1977; Wada & Rasmussen, 1960). Rasmussen and Milner

determined that over 95 percent of right-handers and 70

percent of left-handers have speech represented in the left

hemisphere. Approximately 15 percent of left-handers have

speech in the right hemisphere, while another 15 percent of










left-handers have speech bilaterally represented. These

findings are in direct support of those obtained by Penfield

and Roberts (1959) in which they mapped the speech areas of

the brain via electrical stimulation of the brain's speech

centers.

Brain Laterality and Emotion

Heilman, Scholes, and Watson (1975), in working with

left and right hemisphere damaged patients, found that right

hemisphere damaged patients had more difficulty in the com-

prehension of affective speech. Twelve subjects (six with

right temporoparietal lesions and six with left temporopa-

rietal lesions) were presented with tape-recorded messages

in one of four emotional tones (happy, sad, angry, or in-

different) and asked to identify the emotion by pointing

to the appropriate facial picture. Although all 12 subjects

were able to consistently identify the verbal content of the

sentences, the left hemispheric patients were significantly

better able to identify the correct emotion, suggesting that

the right hemisphere is integral in the interpretation of

emotional material. These results are supported by others

(Gainotti, 1972; Gardner, Ling, Flam, & Silverman, 1975;

Ley & Bryden, 1981, 1982b; Wechsler, 1973) which also point

to the right hemisphere as primary in the mediation of

emotional processing.

In a similar study, Tucker, Watson, and Heilman (1976)

found that right temporoparietal patients also had more










difficulty than left temporoparietals in their ability to

express affect.

An interesting case study was reported by Smith (1966)

in which a 47-year-old man received a left hemispherectomy

(removal of the left cerebral hemisphere). For several

months following surgery, the patient was able only to

produce "expletives and short emotional phrases" such as

"goddammit!" This patient was able to express affect, but

nothing else with his remaining right hemisphere. This

case suggests that while the patient's verbal hemisphere

was removed, some highly emotional language apparently

remained in his right hemisphere.

The direction in which a subject's eyes move when

responding to particular types of questions has been linked

to laterality of brain function (Bakan, 1969; Kinsbourne,

1972; Galin & Ornstein, 1974). Cognitive activity in one

hemisphere is predicted to cause lateral eye movements

(LEMs) toward the opposite hemisphere. Attempts to inves-

tigate the hemispheric location of emotional processing has

been pursued via LEMs (Schwartz, Davidson, & Maer, 1975;

Tucker, Roth, Arneson, & Buckingham, 1977). Emotional

questions were found to elicit an increased number of left

lateral eye movements, suggesting that the right hemisphere

is dominant for emotional processing.

Yet another procedure used to study hemispheric differ-

ences is the dichotic listening technique in which stimuli










are presented auditorily to the individual ears in turn.

Kimura (1967) reported a right ear and left hemisphere

advantage in the processing of verbal stimuli. Dichotic

listening experiments by Safer and Leventhal (1977), however,

found a left ear and therefore right hemisphere superiority

for the making of judgments regarding sentence content and

speaker's tone of voice which has been interpreted as giving

further evidence of the right hemisphere's importance in the

processing of affective comprehension (Tucker, 1981). Identi-

fication of the affective tone of spoken passages was also

demonstrated as an advantage for the left ear by Ley and

Bryden (1982a). Carmon and Nachshon (1973) found left ear

advantages for recognizing nonverbal but human produced sounds

such as crying, laughing, and shreiking.

Dichotic listening tasks requiring the subjects to

discriminate affect and content were presented by Saxby and

Bryden (1984) to a group of kindergarten, fourth, and eighth

grade students. A left ear advantage for the discrimination

of emotion and a right ear advantage for the discrimination

of content were reported. These results were interpreted as

consistent with the left hemisphere superiority for language

processing and the right hemisphere superiority for emotional

processing previously indicated for adults. The results did

not vary significantly among the age groups but indicated

girls to demonstrate greater laterality effects than boys.










The individual hemispheres process visual information

presented to the opposite visual field. The right hemis-

phere, for instance, processes information presented in the

left visual field. Ley and Bryden (1979) and Safer (1981)

report that subjects identified the emotions portrayed in

photographs and drawings of faces more accurately and more

quickly when they were presented in the left visual field.

This evidence again suggests a right brain superiority for

the processing of emotional stimuli.

A detailed review of the hemispheric literature investi-

gating the lateralization of emotional activation, emotional

recognition, or emotional processing of emotional stimuli

has been conducted by Chaknis (1982). This review cites

studies of clinical (Bear, 1983; Heilman & Valenstein, 1979;

Morrow, Urtunsk, Kim, & Boller, 1981; Ross & Mesolam, 1979)

and normal subjects investigated via dichotic listening

techniques (Carmon & Nachson, 1973; Fennell & Mulheirn,

1981; Ley, 1980), lateralized presentations to visual half

fields (Ley, 1980; Ley & Bryden, 1979; Safer, 1981; Strauss,

1983; Strauss & Moscovitch, 1981; Suberi & McKeever, 1977),

lateralized eye movements (Schwartz, Davidson, & Maer, 1975),

and EEG studies of hemispheric activation (as reviewed in

Tucker, 1981). This review concludes general support for

"RH superiorities in activation (i.e., GSR and EEG data),

recognition (auditory or visual accuracies), or processing

(i.e., reaction time) for emotional stimuli such as facial

expressions or tones of voice" (Chaknis, 1983).










The research, then, indicates that for the great

majority of individuals the cerebral hemispheres of the

brain appear to have some degree of specialization in the

operation of particular tasks and in the performance of

particular functions. In essence, the left hemisphere has

been found to be largely involved with language functions,

while the right hemisphere manages the visuo-spatial realm.

The research also suggests that while the left brain appears

dominant for the operation of most speech functions, those

functions involving the interpretation and expression of

emotional stimuli seem most adequately performed by the

right hemisphere.

The Wechsler Scales and Brain Laterality

As described in the introduction, the WISC-R is a

commonly used instrument in the practice of school psycho-

logy throughout the United States, offering both "Verbal"

and "Performance" scales, as well as a "Full Scale" IQ score.

Kaufman (1979) believes that there may be correspondence

between the Verbal and Performance scales and left and right

brain functioning. He states that "true differences in verbal

and nonverbal intelligence may reflect greater dependency on

one or the other cerebral hemisphere. The left hemisphere is

specialized for processing linguistic stimuli, and the right

hemisphere is adept at handling visual-spatial stimuli.

Consequently, P>V may suggest a better developed right

hemisphere, and V-P may imply an especially efficient










processing system in, or dependence on, the left hemisphere"

(p. 27).

Fedio and Mirsky (1969) found that they could predict

the side of lesion in 6-14-year-old temporal-lobe epileptics

by observing the direction of Verbal-Performance discrepancies

on the WISC (forerunner of the WISC-R). The work of Rourke,

Young, and Flewelling (1971) further substantiates Kaufman's

statement in their study of 9-14-year-old learning disabled

children. Those students with V-P on the WISC outperformed

students with P
true for the students when faced with perceptual tasks.

Rudel and Teuber (1971) found that subjects with low

Performance scores on the WISC had the greatest difficulty

when confronted with a route-finding task and made the most

"spatial errors." These same researchers (1974) also

administered the WISC to a group of neurologically-damaged

children and found that those with right brain damage had

significantly higher Verbal than Performance scores. They

also reported that although left brain damaged subjects had

higher Performance than Verbal scores, they did not reach a

level of significance.

A group of 9-14-year-old boys were compared regarding

WISC scores and their performance on a variety of later-

alized tasks (Rourke & Telegdy, 1971). It was found that

these boys with V>P did better on "tasks thought to be

subserved primarily by the left cerebral hemisphere (e.g.,










reading, spelling, arithmetic, speech-sounds discrimina-

tion)," while boys with PV were found to do better "on

tasks thought to be subserved primarily by the right cerebral

hemisphere (e.g., spatial visualization, visual memory, com-

plex visual-motor coordination)" (p. 882).

Kershner and King (1974) also presented the WISC to

brain-damaged children and found that "left damaged were

poorer than the right damaged on all of the verbal tests"

and "with the exception of Mazes, the right damaged children

were poorer than the left damaged on the visuo-spatial tests"

(p. 1288).

A study employing the WISC-R was reported by Kraft

(1983), the results of which "strongly support the hypothesis

that laterality is related to Wechsler Intelligence Scale

scores" (p. 86).

Research involving the adult version of the Wechsler

scales, the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS), pro-

vides additional evidence in support of correspondence

between the Wechsler scales and hemispheric functioning.

McGlone (1978) found that the WAIS, when administered to

brain-damaged adult males, correlated strongly with the side

of the brain injury. Injury to the left brain resulted in

poorer Verbal scores, while injury to the right brain re-

sulted in poorer Performance scores. No effects of the side

of lesion were demonstrated for women.


L










A body of literature, therefore, exists linking the

Wechsler scales, and the WISC-R in particular, with right

and left brain abilities. The Verbal scale appears to be

related to left brain abilities, while right brain abili-

ties seem to be primarily measured by the Performance scale.

Child Development and Learning Patterns

Research studies conducted with children suggest that

their learning patterns and learning capabilities change

as a function of their age. The cognitive development of

children includes several stages which determine the

approach their analysis of stimuli in the environment can

take.

The theory of developmental psychology as proposed by

Jean Piaget and his followers describes these stages. Two

of these stages are reported to occur between the ages of

6 and 15. These age parameters are also encompassed as the

age limits for testing with the WISC-R. The first of the

stages is that of "concrete operations" occurring approxi-

mately between the ages of 6 and 11. According to

Fitzgerald and Strommen (1972), "the concrete operational

child can apply operations to material which he is mani-

pulating but he has difficulty when it comes to applying them

to hypothetical situations. Moreover, he is not yet able to

coordinate two or more operations" (p. 21).

The latter of these two developmental stages is the

stage of "formal operations" occurring between the ages of











11 and 15. The formal operations child "can coordinate his

operations into higher order operations, permitting him to

use two or more operations in conjunction with each other.

He also begins to examine his own thinking and becomes aware

of and critical of his own ideas" (Fitzgerald & Strommen,

1972, p. 21). It appears, then, that approximately at the

age of 11, a change occurs in the cognitive processes of

children, moving them from a stage in which they learn to

think logically to one in which they also learn to think

abstractly. It is conceivable that this growth in mental

ability may have some effect upon the manner in which the

individual child interprets emotional stimuli.

Kraft (1980) examined the relationship of the physio-

logical development of the nervous system to the observed

Piagetian stages and theorizes that neuronal development in

the form of myelination of nerve fibers facilitates the

progression of the individual through the Piagetian stages:

There is reason to believe that the ability
for interhemispheric integration develops
during childhood which may be a function
of myelin development in the brain. It is
possible that Piagetian conservation tasks
are behavioral measurements of interhemis-
pheric integration and progression through
Piagetian stages may parallel these cycles
of myelin development. (p. 641)










There are, then, two forms of evidence, observational

and physiological, which describe stages in the development

of children and appear to correlate with each other. The

"concrete operations" stage occurs between the ages of 6

and 11, while the "formal operations" stage occurs between

the ages of 11 and 15. Evidence suggests that we may expect

children in these two age ranges to solve problems by using

different thinking styles and that these differing thinking

styles may be due to physiological differences in the brains

of the two age groups.

Laterality and Sex

The sex difference, demonstrated for adults in the

McGlone (1978) study, has also been indicated in studies

with children. Witelson (1976) examined 6-13 year old

right-handed youngsters on spatial recognition tasks. Boys

were found to do better with their left hands (and presumably

right brains) than with their right hands, while girls showed

no difference between hands.

In the aforementioned WISC-R study conducted by Kraft

(1983), while finding that laterality is related to WISC-R

scores, the author also states that "the results of this

study confirm that there are sex differences in laterality

favoring males" (p. 86).

Levy and Reid (1978) found that females are generally

less lateralized than males for visuo-spatial functions

typically measured by the WAIS performance subtests.










A study in which the researchers investigated the

ability of the two hemispheres to recognize emotional words

(Graves, Landis, & Goodglass, 1981) found that males

demonstrated "a significant interaction in which the effect

of emotional words was higher in the left visual field

(and presumably right brain) than in the right visual field"

(p. 100). The opposite was found for the females in the

study,although the effect did not reach a level of signifi-

cance. A similar study conducted by Strauss (1983) attempted

to replicate the Graves et al. study but found that "the

emotional quality of words did not improve recognition of the

tachistoscopically-presented words in the left visual field"

(p. 102) for either sex.

Females have shown fewer consistent visual field differ-

ences than males for many verbal tasks. In tachistoscopic

studies, the magnitude of the right visual field advantage

(left hemisphere) for linguistic stimuli has been greater

for right-handed males than right-handed females (Bradshaw,

1980; Bradshaw et al., 1981; Bradshaw & Gates, 1978; Bryden,

1979; Hannay & Malone, 1976; Kail & Seigal, 1978; McGlone,

1980; Seigal, 1978).

McGlone (1980) reviewed dichotic testing studies, find-

ing a majority of them to evidence no difference for men

and women in the degree of right ear advantage for verbal

material (Briggs & Nebes, 1976; Bryden, 1965, 1975, 1979;

Carr, 1969; Demarest & Demarest, 1979; McGlone & Davidson,










1973; McKeever & Van Deventer, 1977; Scott, Hynd, Hunt, &

Weed, 1979). Right-handed women were found to have larger

right ear advantage for consonant-vowel syllables than right-

handed men in one study (Dorman & Porter, 1975).

Alternately, Lake and Bryden (1976) found 94% of the

men in their study to evidence a right ear advantage on a

dichotic listening verbal task, compared with only 69% of

the women. This finding of greater lateralization for males

is supported to some extent by the studies of Thistle (1975),

of Harshmann, Remington, and Krashen (1974), and a reas-

sessment by Bryden of a previous study (Bryden, 1965).

Mixed results have been obtained regarding the factor of

sex and cerebral lateralization. Overall, it appears that

the most definitive statement that can be made is that

females may be somewhat less definitively lateralized than

males.

Summary of Research Implications

The research reveals differences in right and left brain

functioning. One important aspect of these differences is

that regarding the processing of emotional stimuli. It

appears that although the left brain is the primary processor

for language, the right brain seems more involved with

emotional processing, including the processing of emotionally

charged language. The research also suggests a relationship

between the WISC-R and right and left brain abilities. We

may be able to conclude that if this is true, then there may










be a relationship between WISC-R Verbal-Performance scores

and children's abilities to interpret language and emotion.

We may even be able to say that children with significant

differences in their Verbal and Performance WISC-R scores

tend to rely more heavily upon one hemisphere when interpre-

ting emotionally-laden messages. A child with a higher

Verbal scores may seek to interpret the semantic content of

a sentence, while a high Performance child may interpret the

message according to the emotional tone of the speaker.

Another variable pointed to by the research is that of

age. There is evidence to suggest that children between 6

and 11 may perform differently than children age 11 through

15. A difference may be due to additional myelin sheathing

of nerve fibers in the brains of the older groups.

The sex of the student may also be a factor in how they

respond to emotionally-charged material. The research indi-

cates that males may be more likely to evidence differences

in lateral functioning. When comparing higher Verbal with

higher Performance females, we may not find their processing

styles to differ as much as the processing styles of similar

IQ males.

This study attempted to combine the areas of brain

laterality, psychometric evaluation, and child development.

Previous research in each of the areas provided implications

for emotional processing in children. If previous results

held true in this study, it was expected that differences






30



would be found between the high Verbal and high Performance

groups, between the two age groups, and between boys and

girls.














CHAPTER III

METHODOLOGY


Overview of the Study

As stated in the introduction, increasing attention

is being given to ascertaining the learning styles of

individual students. Brain research, Piagetian theory,

and psychometric investigation provide a base from which

to further explore this area.

The specific problem addressed is that psychologists

need more information from their instruments in order to

better help teachers educate their students. The results

of current brain research need to be more adequately in-

corporated into psychological practice.

The purpose of the study was to investigate WISC-R

Verbal-Performance discrepancies and children's tendencies

for depending upon semantic content or emotional tone for

message interpretation; to investigate the relationship

between age or stages of nerve fiber myelination and

emotional cognition styles; and to investigate the rela-

tionship between sex and emotional cognition style.

Variables

Independent variables studied were IQ dominance (high

Verbal-low Performance IQ profile on the WISC-R or low

Verbal-high Performance IQ profile on the WISC-R; age (6-10

31










and 11-15); and sex. The dependent variable in all cases

was the subjects' scores on an instrument designed to measure

their reliance upon content versus tone of a statement when

judging its emotional tenor.

Subjects

The subjects were selected from the population of

students referred to the Psychological Services section of

the Marion County, Florida, school system for testing in the

past three years. The students were referred for learning

problems, behavior problems, and for gifted program evalua-

tion. The sample was selected from those students tested

by a certified school psychologist and found to display

Verbal-Performance discrepancies of 12 or more IQ points on

the WISC-R. The 12-point difference figure was chosen as

Kaufman (1979) states that such a difference is statistically

significant at the 95% confidence level. The stability

coefficient for the WISC-R is tabled in the manual as .95

over a four-week period (Wechsler, 1974, p. 33). Although

the scores should, therefore, hold reasonably constant over

time, it was decided that only IQ results up to three years

old would be used. This three-year limitation was decided

upon as test reliability tends to decrease with time and

three years is recognized by many authorities, including

Federal Law 94-142, as an appropriate period for results con-

stancy. It was also believed that three years would provide

the required number of subjects to meet the needs of this










study. Recency of testing was additionally important as

the school population of Marion County, Florida, was subject

to higher than normal turnover and some potential subjects

were likely to move from the area prior to the completion of

the study.

The sample consisted of 80 girls and 80 boys, half of

whom were 11 years old on January 1, 1984, and half of whom

were less than 11 on that date. The subjects were distributed

equally regarding their WISC-R Verbal/Performance IQ strengths.

A student found to be unable to perform the task was dropped

from the study and replaced with an alternate subject of

like characteristics.

The total sample included 160 subjects. The full scale

IQs of the subjects approximated the normal curve and ranged

from 50 to 148.

Design

A 2 x 2 x 2 balanced factorial design was utilized with

the three dichotomous variables. There are eight cells with

20 subjects per cell (as shown in Figure 1).

Each cell contains a sample of students from each of the

referred groupings (behavior problems, learning problems, and

gifted).

Instrumentation

The subjects' responses to an audio tape containing

emotionally-laden messages and previously used with adult

schizophrenics served as the dependent variable. Additions















Verbal IQ on WISC-R 12
or more points higher
than Performance IQ


Performance IQ
or more points
Verbal IQ


on WISC-R 12
higher than


Males


Females


Males


Females


20 20 20 20







20 20 20 20






8 cells x 20 subjects per cell = total of 160 subjects




Figure 1


2 x 2 x 2 FACTORIAL DESIGN










were made to the tape to better enable the younger subjects

to manage the task. An introduction to the task and four

example items preceded the test items on the tape (Appendix

A). The audio tape contains 32 test items (Appendix B). The

items were numbered on the tape to help the subjects stay in

sequence on the answer sheet (Appendix C). Eight of the test

items were spoken in an emotional tone consistent with their

content to act as a check that the individual student under-

stood the task. The introductory items also contained

consistent content and tone. The remaining 24 items were

spoken in tones which differed from their content. The

answer sheets offered the subjects two choices for each item.

The introductory and check items offered one correct choice

and one incorrect choice. The test items offered one choice

representing the content of the item and one choice repre-

senting the tone of the item. Each possible answer had both

a facial and a printed description of emotion to help younger

students and poor readers to better understand their choices.

The student was requested "to put an X on the face which best

describes the speaker."

The audio tape had previously been used by Fennell

(1983) with both normal and schizophrenic adults and found

to discriminate adequately between tone and content oriented

subjects. That researcher also stated that the level of task

complexity would be appropriate for children. The discrim-

inatory ability of the instrument was also judged to be

applicable to children.










The WISC-R is intended to use with 6 through 16-year-old

children. It provides Verbal, Performance and Full Scale IQ

scores and requires 50 to 75 minutes to administer. The test

has a mean of 100 and a standard deviation of 15. The WISC-R

was validated via correlational studies with other Wechsler

scales and the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale. Correlations

ranged from .73 to .95 (Wechsler, 1974). Internal consistency

is stated in the manual as .96 for the full scale.

Procedures

The test items were administered to the research subjects

singly or in groups of 2 to 15 students by Marion County School

System staff psychologists certified in the state of Florida.

The subjects were seated in a configuration which discouraged

copying. They were directed to write their names at the top

of the answer sheet and to indicate whether they were right-

handed or left-handed as handedness may be used for post hoc

research purposes. The tape was then played for the students.

Lower functioning subjects, seen to be having difficulty with

the task, were pulled from the group and readministered the

test at a later time with additional instruction. Only three

required this action and all from the high Performance,

younger girls group. The task required approximately eight

minutes.

Following the administration of the test, the items were

totaled and each student received a score representing the

number of content answers which he/she chose. Since they










chose from only two answers, a low content score indicated

a tendency for an individual subject to respond to the tone

of the items, while a high content score indicated that the

subject attended primarily to the content of the items. Nine

subjects, failing to correctly answer more than half of the

check items, were dropped from the study from several groups

and replaced with similar students.

The content score was the dependent variable and was

used to compare levels of the independent variables of IQ

dominance, age, and sex. Main effects for each of the

independent variables were computed, as well as interactions

among the variables.

Methodological Limitations

The crucial factor in this study was the subjects'

performance on the dependent measure, the tape of emotional

statements. Although the tape had been used successfully

with schizophrenic adults and those researchers had stated

its appropriateness for use with children, there existed no

hard evidence to demonstrate its discriminatory value with

the intended population. A pilot study was, therefore,

performed. One elementary and one middle school regular

education classroom were randomly selected. The elementary

classroom consisted of nine girls and 12 boys from ages 7

through 9. The middle school classroom consisted of 18 girls

and 15 boys from ages 13 through 16. Of the total group,

only two of the younger students evidenced any difficulty with






38



the task. Content scores ranged from 7 to 23 in the younger

age group and from 0 to 22 in the older age group, giving an

adequate indication of variability among the scores. A

tendency was noted for the younger students to respond

primarily to the content of the items, while the older

students tended to respond primarily to the tone of the

items. Since the pilot study groups evidenced a minimum of

difficulty with the task and an adequate variation in scores

was represented, no changes in the task format were made

prior to presenting the task to the research subjects.














CHAPTER IV

ANALYSES AND RESULTS


The purpose of this study was to investigate the

relationship between Verbal-Performance WISC-R scores and

children's abilities to interpret the emotional tone and

emotional content of sentences. The study was based on a

balanced (n = 20) 2 x 2 x 2 factorial design with high Verbal

or high Performance IQ group, sex, and age as completely

crossed independent factors. Major hypotheses predicted no

significant differences between the variables of high Verbal

or high Performance group, sex, and age on the dependent

measure. 'The dependent measure was the number of "content"

answers in response to an audio tape which required the

subjects to interpret the emotional state of the speaker on

the dimensions of either emotional content or emotional tone.

Before presenting the results of the hypothesis test, summary

calculations describing the sample in terms of standardized

IQ scores are presented. The mean Verbal, Performance, and

Full Scale IQ's for each group are offered in Table 1.

Marginal means are presented in Table 2. Tests of the two-

way and three-way interactions between levels of the three

independent variables were nonsignificant at the .05 level.

Significant differences in Verbal IQ's (F = 100.1; P .0001),

Performance IQ's (F = 4.94; P_- .0277), and Full Scale IQ's

39














TABLE 1

CELL MEANS AND (STANDARD DEVIATIONS)
FOR THE FACTORIAL DESIGN


High Verbal


Girls


6-10







11-15


Boys


High Performance


Girls


Boys


= Verbal IQ
= Performance IQ
= Full Scale IQ


V 120.70 V 120.20 V 84.35 V 90.30
(21.52) (21.01) (22.01) (17.85)
P 101.50 P 98.40 P 103.55 P 109.50
(21.02) (20.44) (19.99) (19.30)
FS 112.90 FS 110.80 FS 93.30 FS 99.35
(23.43) (22.59) (22.94) (20.03)

V 109.15 V 116.30 V 82.25 V 77.50
(23.40) (27.28) (16.84) (13.85)
P 91.60 P 94.80 P 102.20 P 99.10
(21.29) (24.93) (16.29) (14.57)
FS 101.45 FS 107.10 FS 91.50 FS 86.50
(24.65) (28.46) (17.34) (14.67)















TABLE 2

MARGINAL MEAN SCORES FOR LEVELS
OF THE THREE INDEPENDENT VARIABLES


Group

High Verbal

High Performance

Girls

Boys

6-10

11-15


Verbal


Performance


Full Scale


116.59 96.58 108.06

83.60 103.59 92.66

99.11 99.71 99.79

101.08 100.45 100.94

103.89 103.24 104.09

96.30 96.92 96.64










(F = 19.35; P 5.0001) were found between the high Verbal

and Performance groups. As expected, the high Verbal group

had significantly higher Verbal IQs, while the high Perfor-

mance group had significantly higher Performance IQs. Not

expected was the result that the Verbal IQ group also had

significantly higher Full Scale IQs than the high Performance

group.

Significant differences were also found between age

groups in Verbal IQ (F = 5.30; PS.0227), Performance IQ

(F = 4.01; P:.0471), and Full Scale IQ (F = 4.53; P5--.0349)

with the younger age group having significantly higher IQs

in all three areas.

In order to control for initial differences in IQ, the

ANCOVA analysis strategy was used to test seven hypotheses

of primary interest. This procedure assumes that the within

group regression slope for content on IQ is the same for all

groups in the study. The within cell correlations for Full

Scale IQ with content are presented in Table 3. Testing that

assumption resulted in a computed F value of 1.40 with a p

value equal to .2072. Since the probability of the observed

event was greater than the criteria set for statistical

significance (.10), there was insufficient evidence to indi-

cate that the slopes were unequal. Similar results were

computed for content on Verbal and Performance IQs. Testing

the assumption shows F value of 1.39 and 1.34 with p values

equal to .2113 and .2358, respectively.















TABLE 3

WITHIN CELL CORRELATIONS FOR FULL SCALE IQ WITH CONTENT


High Verbal


Girls


6-10



11-15


Boys


High Performance

Girls Boys










The test for the relationship between Full Scale IQ and

content indicated a negative slope (-.0373) which was signi-

ficant (p .0364). Since the scale on which the dependent

variable was measured was ipsitive, this finding indicated

that the relationship between Full Scale IQ and tone was

positive.

The seven null hypotheses proposed in Chapter I are

examined here in light of the research results.

Null Hypothesis 1 stated that the three-way interaction

between IQ dominance, sex, and age as not significant. A

computed F ratio for the three-way interaction was equal to

0.14. The probability of obtaining a computed F value of

this magnitude or greater if the null hypothesis was true was

equal to .7079. Since the probability of the observed event

was greater than the criteria set for statistical significance

(.05), there was insufficient evidence to reject the null

hypothesis.

Null Hypothesis 2 stated that differences between males

and females on the content measure as the same across the two

levels of age. The computed F ratio for the two-way inter-

action was equal to 2.02. The probability of obtaining a

computed F value of this magnitude or greater if the null

hypothesis was true was equal to .1577. Since the proba-

bility of the observed event was greater than the criteria

set for statistical significance (.05), there was insufficient

evidence to reject the null hypothesis.










Null Hypothesis 3 stated differences on the content

measure between the high Verbal and high Performance groups

as the same for males and females. The computed F ratio for

the two-way interaction was equal to 0.33. The probability

of obtaining a computed F value of this magnitude or greater

if the null hypothesis was true was equal to .5651. Since

the probability of the observed event was greater than the

criteria set for significance (.05), there was insufficient

evidence to reject the null hypothesis.

Null Hypothesis 4 stated differences between the high

Verbal and high Performance groups as the same across the

two age groups. The computed F ratio for the two-way inter-

action was equal to 6.17. The probability of obtaining a

computed F value of this magnitude or greater if the null

hypothesis was true was equal to .0141. Since the proba-

bility of the observed event was less than the criteria set

for statistical significance (.05), there was sufficient

evidence to reject the null hypothesis. Table 4 presents

the adjusted mean content scores with IQ as a covariate for

the groups involved in this interaction. Since gender was

not a factor, scores for males and females were collapsed.

A difference of 1.311 content score points is evidenced

between the high Verbal and high Performance groups at the

younger age level. This difference was not statistically

significant (P S_.2428). For the older age group, a mean

content score difference of 2.48 points was statistically















TABLE 4

ADJUSTED MEAN CONTENT SCORES


High Verbal

ls Boys


High

Girls


Performance

Boys


ADJUSTED MEAN CONTENT SCORES
(Collapsed for Sex)


High Verbal


High Performance


Girl


Age


6-10



11-15


n = 20 n = 20 n = 20 n = 20
14.42 12.64 12.39 12.06

n = 20 n = 20 n = 20 n = 20
9.49 10.45 11.82 13.08


Age


6-10



11-15


n = 40 n = 40
13.53 12.22

n = 40 n = 40
9.97 12.45










significant (P .0270), with the high Performance group

having the higher mean content score.

The younger high Verbal group had a mean content score

of 3.56 points higher than the older high Verbal group,

which was statistically significant (P <_.0013). The mean

content difference between the high Performance groups of

0.23 points across age was not significant (P5- .8346).

Null Hypothesis 5 stated no significant difference

between subjects over the age of 11 and those under the age

of 11 on the content measure. Since there is a significant

interaction between IQ dominance and age, a discussion of

main effects is inappropriate. As shown in Table 4, results

of the interaction discussed above indicated a significant

difference between the high Verbal age groups, but not the

high Performance age groups.

Null Hypothesis 6 stated no significant difference

between males and females on the content measure. The com-

puted F ratio for the variable of sex was equal to 0.00.

The probability of obtaining a computed F value of this

magnitude or greater if the null hypothesis was true was

equal to .9683. Since the probability of the observed event

was greater than the criteria set for statistical significance

(.05), there was insufficient evidence to reject the null

hypothesis.

Null Hypothesis 7 stated no significant difference

between the high Verbal and high Performance groups on the






48



content measure. Since there was a significant interaction

between IQ dominance and age, a discussion of this main

effect for age is inappropriate. However, as shown in Table

4, the analysis of the interaction indicated that there was

a significant difference between the high Verbal and high

Performance groups at the older age level but not at the

younger age level.














CHAPTER V

SUMMARY, DISCUSSION, CONCLUSIONS, IMPLICATIONS,
LIMITATIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS


Summary

The purpose of this study was to investigate the rela-

tionship between Verbal-Performance WISC-R scores and

children's abilities to interpret the emotional tone and

emotional content of sentences.

A 2 x 2 x 2 factorial analysis was designed with the

independent variables consisting of Verbal-Performance IQ

dominance, sex, and age. The dependent measure was the

subjects' content scores on a task requiring them to respond

to either the emotional content or the emotional tone of

messages presented on an audio tape.

A total of 160 subjects were assigned to the eight cells

of the design with 20 subjects represented in each cell.

Both the WISC-R administrations and the dependent measure

evaluations were conducted by school psychologists certified

in Florida.

Discussion of Results

The specific questions to which the study was addressed

were (1) is there a positive relationship between children's

preferences for interpreting the content of a verbal state-

ment and a significant Verbal-Performance split on the WISC-R










in favor of the Verbal score; (2) is there a positive

relationship between children's preferences for interpreting

the tone of a verbal statement and a significant Verbal-

Performance split on the WISC-R in favor of the Performance

score; (3) does the sex of the student have any effect upon

research questions 1 and 2; (4) does the age of the student

have any effect upon research questions 1 and 2?

Since there was a significant interaction between IQ

dominance and age, research questions 1 and 2 cannot be

answered directly, but are addressed in the context of

research question 4.

Research question 4 addressed the variable of age as it

relates to IQ dominance. A review of the research literature

suggested that children exhibiting a Verbal IQ strength on

the WISC-R would be left brain dominant (Fedio & Mirsky,

1969; Kaufman, 1979; Kershner & King, 1974; Kraft, 1983;

Rourke & Telegdy, 1971; Rourke, Young, & Flewelling, 1971;

Rudel & Teuber, 1971) and, theoretically, more likely to

interpret an emotional message by attending to the emotional

content of the message (Saxby & Bryden, 1984). Conversely,

the research literature suggested that the children exhibiting

a Performance IQ strength on the WISC-R would be right brain

dominant and, theoretically, more likely to interpret an

emotional message by attending to the emotional tone of the

message. Neither of these theoretical implications was

supported by the analyses. The high Verbal and high Performance










groups did not differ significantly in their choice of

content and tone at the 6-10-year-old level. At the

11-15-year-old level, however, there was a significant

difference between the high Verbal and high Performance

groups, but the difference was in the opposite direction

of that which was expected, as the high Verbal group

attended primarily to the tone of the messages.

Although some of the research literature had suggested

that different modes of responding might be expected between

the younger and older age groups (Fitzgerald & Strommen,

1972; Kraft, 1980), Saxby and Bryden (1984) found no differ-

ences between age groups in a dichotic listening study which

required children to discriminate verbally-presented sentences

as the same or different along the parameters of content and

tone. The current study produced mixed results regarding the

age factor. The analyses indicated that the high Performance

subjects did not differ significantly in their choice of

content and tone between the 6-10 age group and the 11-15

age group. The analyses did indicate, however, a significant

difference between the content and tone choices of those

high Verbal subjects in the 6-10-year-old group and those

in the 11-15-year-old group, with the older subjects choosing

tone significantly more often. In summary, the older high

Verbal children chose tone responses significantly more often

than did any of the other groups.

Research question 3 addressed the factor of sex as it

relates to hemisphericity and dependence upon emotional










content or tone when children interpret a verbal message.

Numerous research studies investigating differences between

the sexes as regards brain laterality have produced mixed

results. A similar situation exists in studies with children.

Kraft (1983) and Witelson (1976) found a greater degree of

laterality in males than in females, while Saxby and Bryden

(1984) reported a greater degree of laterality for females.

The analysis of the current study indicated that sex was not

a significant factor in determining whether the research

subjects responded to the emotional content or the emotional

tone of a verbally-presented message. This finding does not

support a difference in laterality favoring either sex.

Conclusions

The results of this study indicate that IQ dominance has

no effect upon the emotion interpretation strategies of

children under the age of 11 when they are confronted with

an emotional statement. Results do indicate, however, that

as children with Verbal IQ dominance pass the age of 11,

they begin to rely less upon the emotional content of

emotional statements and more upon the emotional tone of

those statements when attempting to judge the emotional mean-

ing of the speaker. Children with Performance IQ dominance,

however, do not exhibit this maturational pattern and

continue after the age of 11 to interpret emotional statements

in the same manner as children of lesser age.










Implications and Recommendations

The major theoretical implication of this study is that

left hemisphere dominant children are not only superior to

right brain dominant children on the types of tasks pre-

sented by Verbal IQ tests, but as they mature, their

emotional comprehension of verbally-presented statements

becomes more sophisticated than that of right brain dominant

children of similar Full Scale IQ levels. Following the

age at which nerve cell myelination is judged to be complete

in the development of the child, it appears that left brain

dominant children begin to rely more heavily upon the tone

of a speaker's voice. It appears that these children begin

to understand that verbal communication is composed of more

than the concrete words that make up the message and that

emotional tone and nuance give fuller meaning to the speaker's

words. The right brain dominant children, however, do not

seem to exhibit this change in pattern of emotional analysis

following myelination and continue to interpret emotional

messages in the more concrete manner of younger children.

These findings run somewhat counter to those of previous

research studies in which the right brain has been postulated

to play an important role in the mediation of emotion.

It is possible that the results of this study are due to

a difference in the nature of the task from previous studies.

The Saxby and Bryden (1984) study, for instance, which

reported right hemisphere specialization for mediation of










auditory emotional stimuli, differs from the current study

in its approach. The subjects in that study were required

to make a discrimination between target and comparison

sentences as to whether they were the same or different.

Also, the sentences did not differ in emotional content, but

differed only in semantic content. It is suggested that the

task presented by the current study, in which the subjects

were required to identify the emotional state of the speaker,

may have demanded a greater degree of subjective judgment

than previous studies. It should also be remembered that

the task was presented in a verbal mode. Assuming that

sophistication of subjective judgment increases with age,

those children in the formal operations stage might be better

able to interpret emotional nuance (the hallways of junior

and senior high schools at class changing time are filled

with double entendres). It may also be reasonable that the

verbal nature of the task would encourage sophisticated

responding by highly verbal students, while failing to tap

the performance abilities of right brain dominant students.

Similar reasoning might also explain the tendency for

intellectually superior students to score higher on the

dimension of tone. While students of both higher and lower

intellectual standing would be expected to correctly inter-

pret the "concrete" semantic content of a sentence, the

higher IQ student might possess a greater variety of

response formats and, therefore, be better able to make










use of the speakers's tone when making more "formal" judg-

ments regarding the speaker's emotional state.

Additional research appears warranted in order to more

fully understand the respective roles of the left and right

cerebral hemispheres in the comprehension of verbally-

presented emotional material. The results of this study

indicate that the development of right brain abilities is

insufficient in the complete deciphering of verbally-

presented emotional messages without the concomitant develop-

ment of left brain skills. It does, however, appear that

left brain dominant children with significantly poorer right

brain development learn with age to be more fully aware of

emotional tone as an important indicator of verbal intent.

A significant negative correlation was indicated for

Full Scale IQ with content and, therefore, indicated a

positive correlation for Full Scale IQ with tone. Research-

ers, however, might pursue additional findings by studying

a more normalized population and by seeking alternative

methods of measuring children's sensitivity to emotional

stimuli.

Additional investigation into the relationship between

hemispheric dominance and progression through Piagetian

stages also appears necessary. The results of this study

indicate that left brain dominant children make the transi-

tion from the concrete operations stage to the formal

operations stage more completely than right brain dominant










children in the comprehension of verbally-presented

emotional material. This transition is vitally important

to the developing child. Investigators need to be cognizant

that hemisphericity appears to be a factor in this transition

and should explore how hemispheric dominance is involved in

other areas of child development.

The results of this study may be useful to trainers in

the fields of school psychology, clinical psychology, educa-

tion, and child development. The utility to trainers will

consist of the foregoing theoretical implications, as well as

the provision of practical implications which trainees and

other practitioners may employ in their respective fields.

The results of this study may be particularly useful in

special education classrooms and in psychotherapeutic set-

tings. The WISC-R is routinely administered to nearly all

special education students and to many children receiving

mental health services. Professionals in both fields, under-

standing the attentional focus of children with significant

Verbal-Performance discrepancies in their WISC-R profiles,

can more accurately formulate verbal communication and

instructional procedures to meet the needs of these children.

The research indicates that most children under the age of 11,

as well as those children over the age of 11 who have a signi-

ficant Verbal-Performance discrepancy on the WISC-R in favor

of the Performance score, are not likely to focus upon the

emotional tone of a verbal message. Emotional tone is not










likely to be more effective than sentence content when com-

municating with these children. Children with significant

Verbal-Performance discrepancies in favor of the Verbal score

who are over the age of 11, however, may respond more readily

to the emotional tone of a verbally-presented message. A

teacher or therapist attempting to communicate an educational

concept or behavioral alternative may find that what they say

is most effective with younger and right brain dominant

students, while how they say it best gets the message across

with older left brain dominant students.

Limitations and Generalizability

A major limitation of this study involves the character-

istics of the research sample. Each student involved in the

study was referred to the Psychological Services section of

the Marion County, Florida, School System due to learning or

behavioral problems or suspected intellectual giftedness.

Generalizing the results of this study to a wider population

should be attempted in light of the restriction which this

limitation imposes.

Although research studies have been cited relating the

WISC-R Verbal and Performance scales to left and right brain

abilities, respectively, neither of the scales has been shown

to exclusively measure the province of a single hemisphere.

While implications for hemispheric functioning may be gained

from this study, the making of absolute predictions for

individual students may not be warranted.






58



Although the audio tape, used as the dependent measure,

has been validated for use at the clinical level, validity

and reliability estimates have not been obtained. The pilot

study and the eight check items in the instrument helped to

justify its use for the purposes of this study. As mentioned

in Chapter III, however, the tape represents an experimental

instrument and how well it measured the subjects' proclivities

poses as a question mark in this study. The use of this

instrument for diagnostic purposes without further validation

is not recommended.




































APPENDICES














Appendix A

INTRODUCTION TO THE TASK


The exercise in which you about to take part is designed

to give us information which we will be able to use in order

to help other Marion County students. Now, please listen

carefully to the instructions. You will first hear four

example sentences. The person speaking will be sad, happy,

mad, or will have no feeling at all. For each sentence, you

will have two choices. Put an X on the face that you believe

best describes the speaker. Please do every one. If you are

not sure of the answer, make your best guess. Now find

example A at the top of the answer sheet. Now listen care-

fully to the speaker.

"Oh, what a wonderful surprise."

Does she have no feeling or is she happy? That's right,

you should have put an X on the happy face. Now listen care-

fully to example B.

"Darn that dog."

Is she mad or sad? That's right, she's mad and you

should have put an X on the mad face. Now listen carefully

to example C and put an X on either the no feeling face or

the mad face.

"The light is on."

That's right, she has no feeling. Now listen carefully

60






61



to example D and put an X on the face which best describes

the feeling of the speaker.

"I lost all my money."

That's right, she is sad and you should have put an X

on the sad face.

We are now going to begin the exercise. Remember to

put an X on the face which you believe best describes the

way the speaker feels. Please do every one. If you are not

sure of the answer, make your best guess.










APPENDIX B

TAPED EMOTIONAL MESSAGES


1. The broom is in the hall
closet.

2. I wish you didn't have to go.

3. Paintings hang on the walls.

4. She's going to miss her old
stuffed bear.

5. Paper was scattered around
the room.

6. The boy went to the store.

7. Is there a tennis match today?

8. The broom is in the hall closet.

9. The carpet is blue and green.

10. Don't ever do that again.

11. Those bums lost again.

12. Isn't it a beautiful day?

13. The ball went over the fence.

14. The screen door is open.

15. The windows are made of tinted
glass.

16. I wish you didn't have to go.

17. Don't ever do that again.

18. The windows are made of tinted
glass.

19. Paintings hung on the walls.

20. That's just what I always
wanted.


Content


Indifferent

Sad

Indifferent


Sad


Indifferent

Indifferent

Indifferent

Indifferent

Indifferent

Angry

Angry

Happy

Indifferent

Indifferent


Indifferent

Sad

Angry


Indifferent

Indifferent


Happy


Tone


Happy

Angry

Indifferent


Sad


Indifferent

Happy

Indifferent

Angry

Happy

Happy

Angry

Sad

Sad

Indifferent


Sad

Happy

Sad


Angry

Sad


Angry












21. The ball went over the fence.

22. The boy went to the store.

23. The chairs are made of wood.

24. Paper was scattered around the
room.

25. Isn't it a beautiful day?

26. The carpet is blue and green.

27. Is there a tennis match today?

28. Those bums lost again.

29. She's going to miss her old
stuffed bear.

30. That's just what I always
wanted.

31. The chairs are made of wood.

32. The screen door is open.


Content

Indifferent

Indifferent

Indifferent


Indifferent

Happy

Indifferent

Indifferent

Angry


Sad


Happy

Indifferent

Indifferent


Tone

Happy

Sad

Angry


Angry

Indifferent

Indifferent

Sad

Indifferent


Indifferent


Happy

Happy

Angry















APPENDIX C

SCORING SHEET FOR THE TAPED EMOTIONAL MESSAGES



















Example ]s:
A.





No Feeling Happy








Had Sad


1.






No Feeling Happy


Had


Sad Mad


Sad


Had No Feeling


No Feen Happy
No Fcceing Happy


No Feeling Happy


7.8. 9.






Sad No Feeling H No Feeling No Feelin app


Had Happy Happy Mad


Sad Happy


No Feeling Sad


Had No Feeline


Name


o Feeling


Ho Feeling


I).






Happy


Mad


Sad


'IS





No P..il In n~





























16.







Happy Sad


19.






Sad No Feeling


17.






Had Sad


20.






Happy Mad


22. 23. 24.






Sad No Feeling No Feeling Had Had No Feeling


25. 26. 27.







Happy Ho Feeling Happy No Feeling No Feeling Sad

28. 29. 30.






Mad Ho Feeling Ho Feeling Sad Happy Mad


31.






Ho Feeling Happy


32.






Had No Feeling


18.






Ho Feeling


21.






No Fee ing


Mad










Happy












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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH


James H. M. Woodward was born October 29, 1948, in

Petoskey, Michigan. He graduated from Ottawa Hills High

School in Grand Rapids, Michigan in June of 1966. Following

a business career, during which he served as president of a

chain of retail sports and clothing stores in Michigan and

Florida, he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology

from Michigan State University in June of 1976. He was sub-

sequently admitted into the doctoral program in experimental

psychology at the University of Miami in Miami, Florida.

While attending the University of Miami, he received a gradu-

ate assistantship at the Mailman Center for Child Development.

He transferred to the University of Florida in September of

1976. He received the degrees of Master of Education and

Specialist in Education through the Department of Counselor

Education in August of 1979. While attending the University

of Florida, he was employed as a graduate assistant in P. K.

Yonge Laboratory School. He is presently a school psychologist

for the Marion County School System in Ocala, where he has

been employed while pursuing the degree of Doctor of

Philosophy.

James has been married to his wife, Meg (Vescolani) for

eight years, and has a 15-year-old son, Anthony. He is a

member of the National Association of School Psychologists

75






76



and the Florida Association of School Psychologists, for

which he has served on the Executive Board as Representative-

at-Large and Chairman of the Articles of Incorporation

Committee.









I certify that I have read this study and that in my
opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly
presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality,
as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.




Donald L. Avila, Chairman
Professor of Counselor Education

I certify that I have read this study and that in my
opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly
presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality,
as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.



f51'k Q>6. AbcnumLL
Eileen B. Fennell, Associate
Professor of Clinical Psychology

I certify that I have read this study and that in my
opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly
presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality,
as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.




Iar r/C. Loesch
Pro ssor of Counselor Education

I certify that I have read this study and that in my
opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly
presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality,
as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.




Stehen F. Olejni~f Associate
Professor of Foundations of Education

This dissertation was submitted to the Graduate Faculty of the
Department of Counselor Education in the College of Education
and to the Graduate School, and was accepted as partial
fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of
Philosophy.


August, 1984


Dean for Graduate Studies and Research




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