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

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Title:
Interaction of cues, learner curiosity, verbal ability, and amount of invested mental effort with achievement in a museum setting
Creator:
Fire, Wilhelmina Mauer, 1936-
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
x, 125 leaves : ill. ; 28 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Attention ( jstor )
Curiosity ( jstor )
Educational research ( jstor )
Eggshells ( jstor )
Koran ( jstor )
Learning ( jstor )
Museum exhibitions ( jstor )
Museums ( jstor )
Perceptual learning ( jstor )
Verbal ability ( jstor )
Curriculum and Instruction thesis Ph. D
Dissertations, Academic -- Curriculum and Instruction -- UF
Learning ( lcsh )
Learning, Psychology of ( lcsh )
City of Gainesville ( local )

Notes

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

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University of Florida
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University of Florida
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Copyright [name of dissertation author]. Permission granted to the University of Florida to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Resource Identifier:
028113536 ( ALEPH )
14870491 ( OCLC )
AEH5712 ( NOTIS )

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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
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1















































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000


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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




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INTERACTION OF CUES, LEARNER CURIOSITY, VERBAL ABILITY,
AND AMOUNT OF INVESTED MENTAL EFFORT WITH
ACHIEVEMENT IN A MUSEUM SETTING
By
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
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

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 opportunity to bask in the sunlight at the end
of the tunnel--the completion of this degree.
in

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Page
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS iii
LIST OF TABLES vi
LIST OF FIGURES viii
ABSTRACT.. ix
CHAPTER
I. THE PROBLEM 1
Purpose 1
Background to the Problem 1
Summary 5
II. REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE 7
Attention and Learning 7
Learning in Informal Settings 10
Curiosity and Active Exploration 15
Knowledge of the Criterion Task 20
Amount of Invested Mental Effort 22
Aptitude Treatment Interactions 25
Summary 30
Hypotheses 31
III.EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURES 33
Subjects 33
General Procedures 33
The Design 36
Treatments 38
Instructional Materials 39
Measures 41
Aptitudes 41
Posttests 43
IV.RESULTS 46
Variables 47
Instructional Treatment Main Effects... 50
Mental Effort and Inferences 53
Curiosity 56
xv

Aptitude x Treatment Interactions 51
Aptitude x Attention Cues x Test Cues. 5^’
Test Cues Constant 62
Attention Cues Constant 62
Two-Way Interactions with Other
Aptitudes ... . 69
V. DISCUSSION AND IMPLICATIONS 80
Instructional Treatment Main Effects... 81
Cues 81
Mental Effort and Inferences 83
Curiosity 86
Aptitude x Treatment Interactions 88
Three-Way Interactions 88
Two-Way Interactions 90
Conclusion 96
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
v

LIST OF TABLES
Table Page
1. Distribution of Subjects by Treatment,
Sex, and Race 34
2. Experimental Design 37
3. Reliabilities of Measures Used 45
4. Aptitude Data 48
5. Posttest Data 49
6. Posttest Curiosity Data 51
7. Curiosity Change Score Data 52
8. Summary Table of Dependent Variable
Main Effects 54
9. Analyses of Variance for Mental Effort
and Inferences 55
10. Analyses of Variance for Curiosity
Levels 58
11. Summary of Statistics for Testing
Interactions of Verbal Ability
x Attention Cues x Test Cues 60
12. Statistics for Verbal Ability x Test
Cue Interactions (Attention Cues
Given) . 64
13. Statistics for Verbal Ability x Test
Cue Interactions (No Attention
Cues Given) 65
14. Intercepts and Slopes for Regression
Lines for Verbal Ability x Treatment
Interactions 68
vi

Table
Page
15. Nonsignificant F Values for Aptitude
x Treatment Interactions for Factual
Items and Inferential Items 72
16. Nonsignificant F Values for Aptitude x
Treatment Interactions for Total Post¬
test and Posttest Science Curiosity.. 73
17. Summary Statistics for Significant
Two Way Interactions 74
18. Intercepts and Slopes for Regression
Lines for Posttest Written Science
Curiosity as the Dependent Variable.. 78
vii

LIST OF FIGURES
Figure Page
1. Interaction of Verbal Ability with
Treatments for Factual Items 66
2. Interaction of Verbal Ability with
Treatments for Total Posttest 67
3. Interaction of Pretest Science Curiosity
x Attention Cues f.or Posttest Science
Curiosity. . . 75
4. Interaction of Amount of Mental Effort
x Test Cue for Posttest Science
Curiosity 76
5. Interaction of Psychomotor Curiosity x
Test Cue for Posttest Science
Curiosity 77
viii

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, VERBAL ABILITY,
AND AMOUNT OF INVESTED MENTAL EFFORT WITH
ACHIEVEMENT IN A MUSEUM SETTING
By
Wilhelmina Mauer Fire
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
in the vicinity of the shell exhibit. All subjects were
then given posttest measures of invested mental effort,
curiosity, and achievement.
ix

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 (j) = .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 (_p_ = .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 as
important to learn; thus they made superior inferences.
A significant interaction (j). = .04) with the Amount
of Psychomotor Curiosity x Test cue was found for
posttest science curiosity. A no test cue treatment
produced higher posttest science curiosity scores for
both high and low curiosity subjects because the
subjects could pursue their curious ideas without the
threat of being tested on content.
x

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
objectives, nor attendance requirements; therefore,
1

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 as a research
interest with the Shettel et al. (1968) study. 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
museum goers. Although the above studies generally
reported that viewers had increased attention and
focusing times, the relationship of this increased focus
of attention to proportionate increases in learning from

3
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 ormal learning setting.
Although curiosity would am 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,
Ziegler, & Kreitler, 1975; Langevin, 1971; Maw & Maw,
1971; R. W. Peterson, 1979; R. W. Peterson & Lowery,
1972); but curiosity in this study was confined to
three aspects: (1) the psychomotor curiosity, or the

4
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. The amount of invested
mental effort (AIME), however, is not merely time spent on
a task nor is it persistence, but has been defined by
Salomon (1983) as "the number of nonautomatic mental
elaborations applied to material" (p.44).

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). The
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
general ability may account for much of what they gain
in a museum setting. However, other variables may
interact to differentially affect what is learned such

6
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 as the first student
activity necessary in the acquisition of knowledge
(Bransford, 1979; Gagne, 1973; Keele, 1973; J. J. Koran
& Lehman, 1981). Some students have more attention to
give, or want to give, 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
relevant thinking only occurred 25 to 60% of lesson time
(Edwards & Marland, 1984) and that many stimuli that
teachers intended to be instructional were not
7

8
perceived by students as 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 as well as instructional
devices that will focus their attention on that which is
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 assist
learners in acquiring knowledge. 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;
Reynolds, 1979).
Cues such as advance organizers and behavioral
objectives were investigated by Borer (1981) in a study
of reading comprehension involving 96 sixth graders.

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. It is from these
types of studies that the objectives previously outlined
were derived and the subsequent treatments developed for
this study.
There is 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
also shown to have a bearing upon achievement. Groups
that were required to generate their own headings for
textual material outperformed groups given headings by

10
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 is a need to extend this type research from the
classroom to other types of settings (such as 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
of the traditional classroom such as in homes, zoos,
museums, nature centers and through participation in
various organizations. Learners of all ages have been

11
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
attempted to gain the attention of museum visitors.
Audio mechanisms were found to increase children's
attention to exhibits (Abler, 1968) and similar results
were found in adult museum goers (Screven, 1974). The

12
audio adjuncts, with a travelogue type discourse,
focused attention to particular features of the
exhibits. Screven's (1974) use of pretests, 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 pre-attentional and
as a post-attentional device. 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
outperformed the control group that was not given the
panel to view as an attention cue. All of the above
methods for focusing and holding attention of museum

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
as 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.
Although both groups were given classroom instruction,
the group that was oriented to the museum visit
outperformed the control group on content.

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 is 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 pre-instructional orientation before
an informal learning experience both to focus attention
and to reduce the "novelty interference" phenomenon.

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.
Berlyne (1954, 1966) explained curiosity as that
drive of individuals which could be reduced only by
physical or mental investigation of novel, incongrous
stimuli. A perceived discrepancy between the

16
individuals' experiences and what they expected led them
to reduce the discrepancy (Charlesworth, 1964). In
1978, Berlyne redefined curiosity as an attribute that
existed in two forms: (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 is 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). The
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,
and reorganizes an object or its parts, or causes them
to interact with each other or with the environment
(R. W. Peterson, 1979; R. W. Peterson & Lowery, 1972).

17
With a sample of 120 kindergarten, second, fourth,
and sixth graders, R. W. Peterson & Lowery (1972) placed
children individually into a novel environment and
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).
Interactive, hands-on science experiences have
become enjoyable to visitors and have contributed to the
success and popularity of science museums and learning

18
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 activites 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
experiences directly affect learning in the museum.
Rather than to describe curiosity as a unitary
construct of motor activities, Kreitler et al. (1975)

19
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 as a function of
higher cognition. Hence, students' preferred styles of
expressing curiosity have been shown to exist as
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,
1978), and in fostering motivation (Gensley, 1971, 1977;
Jones, 1980) indirectly imply that curiosity may be the
factor that stimulates learning.

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). In Garcia's (1978) dissertation that
involved 227 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
use of different study techniques and test strategies
have been found to be specific to the type of assessment
given as evidenced by the study that follows. Those who
prepared for a multiple choice test on textual material

21
reported 30% rereading of the text; those who prepared
for an essay examination reported a 52% rereading rate.
After the administration of a multiple choice
examination, subjects responded that they used 22%
multiple strategies compared to subjects who reported
that they used 40% multiple strategies after an essay
test (Alverman & Ratekin, 1982). Students responded to
performance expectation as 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. Subjects receiving pictorial
cues along 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 those who did not possess this information
(Wong, Wong, & Lemare, 1982). These findings on the
knowledge of a test versus no awareness that an
examination was forthcoming and the effect of

22
instructional cues upon student achievement give the
impetus to further research in an informal setting, such
as 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. Effort has been
equated with such descriptors as motivation (Atkinson,
1966), as the capacity to respond to a stimulus
(Kahneman, 1973), as one's expectant level of efficacy
(Bandura, 1977), as persistence and time on task (I.
Brown & Inouye, 1978; Rosenshine, 1979; Stallings,
1980), and as that which is 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
devoted to the new task.
The amount of invested mental effort (AIME) has
been coined by Salomon (1983) as a more detailed
descriptor to specify the "number of nonautomatic mental

23
elaborations applied to material" (p. 44). The AIME
expended depends largely on the subject's perception of
the task. This factor has been termed the perceived
demand characteristic (PDC). If the task was perceived
as 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 as
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 as
more realistic and easy, thereby they invested less
mental effort; students perceived print as difficult
which required them to invest more mental effort. As a
result, those who expended more mental effort were able
to make better and more numerous inferences about the
material and also reported they had invested more
effort.

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
as 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.

25
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 as the panacea for all
learners. 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).
A recent type of research suggests how learner
characteristics differentially modify treatment effects
(Cronbach, 1975; Cronbach & Snow, 1977; M. L. Koran &

26
Koran, 1980; M. L. Koran & Koran, 1984); this research
is termed aptitude treatment interaction (ATI) research.
The principle of ATI studies is that all students are
influenced by the educational environment—the stimuli
presented by instruction as well as the learners'
perceptions of that environment mediated by their
individual differences (Berliner, 1983). Thus, no one
educational environment is best suited for the optimal
learning of all students. 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 facilitating or
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 is superior for another type of
student. The aptitude must be measured for each subject
prior to treatment so that it may be determined which
instructional conditions would best benefit each learner
at his level of that aptitude.

27
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, & Donáis, 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
showed that low achieving students benefited from
structure and direction (Ebmeier, 1978). Advance
organizers were particularly advantageous to low ability

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 is 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). In the
studies where low ability learners profited, high
ability learners did not. Treatments that capitalized
on the well developed cognitive abilities of learners
who preferred to use their own strategies for learning,
organizing, and remembering were beneficial to high
ability learners (Ebmeier, 1978; Galpert-Paris, 1979;
Holliday, 1981; Reidbord, 1979). All of the above ATI

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. He
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 (I? =
2.22, j). = .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
setting, such as the museum, may provide subjects the
opportunity to interact with potentially educational
science materials. The strategies subjects possess and

30
will employ might interact with the attention cues
given, with their curiosity levels, and with the
mannner 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.
2. Maximal learning is 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 is 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
(PDC) of the task and the subject's perceived
self-efficacy (PSE) with the task.
6. Prior knowledge of a specific criterion task has
been found to affect performance.

31
7. Any variable such as knowledge of the criterion
task may influence the subject's perception of
the task, thereby influencing the amount of
invested mental effort.
8. 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.
2. 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
a test.
3. Subjects receiving treatment cards with test
cues will be influenced to invest more mental
effort and will perform significantly better

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
Sub j ects
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 year. The
group of subjects included 75 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, curiosity, and
invested mental effort, followed the instructions given
on the treatment cards, and 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
One week prior to the experiment, the aptitude
measures of verbal ability, written general curiosity,
and written science curiosity were obtained for all
33

34
Table 1
Distribution of Subjects by Treatment, Sex, and Race
Treatment
Male
Female
Total
Black
White
Black
White
1
10
6
6
9
31
2
12
9
3
9
31
3
10
11
8
5
34
4
11
6
9
5
33
Total
43
32
26
28
129

35
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, to
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 less if the subject
said he/she was finished) the subject went to a second
area. The student was given a packet of tests that
included the measure of the amount of invested mental
effort (AIME), a criterion measure of factual knowledge,

36
a criterion measure that required inferences, a post¬
test of general curiosity and a posttest of science
curiosity. The measure of the amount of invested mental
effort (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 2). All four experimental groups
received the corresponding instruction and were given an
immediate posttest. This design permitted the evalua¬
tion of the effects that each independent variable
(attention cues versus no attention cues, knowledge of
an impending test versus absence of this knowledge,

37
Table 2
Experimental Design
Instructional
Cards
Test Cues
Given (T) Not Given (NT)
Attention Cues
in the form of
questions
A-T A-NT
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 effects, the design permitted
investigation of Aptitude x 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. A
reference to a test was underlined in red pencil
and subjects were instructed to learn as much as
possible for the test.
2. Subjects in treatment two were given the same
attention cues as in treatment one, but no
reference to a test was given nor were subjects
instructed to learn as much as possible.
3. Subjects in treatment three were not given
questions as attention cues, but a reference to
a test was underlined in red pencil and subjects
were instructed to learn as much as possible for
the test.

39
4. Subjects in treatment four were not given
questions as 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.
Each treatment card contained information on only
one side of the 5" x 8" card. The section on directions
consisted of four sentences (in the no test cue

40
conditions) or six sentences (in the treatments that
cued for a test). A section defining univalve, bivalve,
and shell hinge was worded 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, the category was "Some
Clues." A section appeared with identical questions
that served as 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
as 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
of the third grade, fifth month. Examples of the
written treatment cards can be found in Appendix A and a
photograph of the exhibit in Appendix B.

41
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-1) was taken from
the Kit of Reference Tests for Cognitive Factors
(French, Ekstrom, & Price, 1963). It consisted of 2
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, £ =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
the Children's Reactive Curiosity Scale (Penney &
McCann, 1964). The original test, composed of 90 true-
false items and 10 "lie" items, had a 2 week test-retest
reliability of 0.75 for sixth graders. It had a low

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
science curiosity of another group of fifth graders to
their letter grades in science three months later (r =
0.30, 2. < 0.002). Examples of those questions used in
this study can be found in Appendix D.

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 to the exhibit and not to
the criterion tests. The 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 24. The Kuder-Richardson 21
reliability was 0.38. 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; R. W. Peterson, 1979; R. W.
Peterson & Lowery, 1972).
Posttests
All subjects received a 20-item written criterion
test as part of the packet given to them immediately
following their perusal and/or study of the shell
exhibit. One portion of the test consisted of 10
factual questions to which each subject had to supply

44
single word answer. The second portion contained 6
multiple choice items (with 5 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) the size and
shape of an animal they thought lived in a particular
shell, (2) how a baby animal would appear in its shell,
(3) 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, and 0.57 for the inference
items. Content validity was established by four judges.
A readability estimate (Fry, 1968) 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. The
wording of this posttest was amended to reflect a stim¬
ulus as that of a shell museum exhibit. The posttest
appears in Appendix G. The reliability coefficients of
all measures used in this study are presented in Table
3; their correlations appear in Appendix H.

45
Table 3
Reliabilities of Measures Used
Measure Reliability
Aptitudes
Vocabulary 0.69
General curiosity 0.75
Science curiosity 0.85
AIME 0.38
Posttests
Factual knowledge 0.60
Inferential ability 0.57
General curiosity 0.75
Science curiosity
0.89

CHAPTER IV
RESULTS
The primary purposes of this study were
1. To investigate the differences in learner
achievement when the treatments varied in (a)
the presence or absence of attention focusing
questions, and (b) the presence or absence of
test cues;
2. To examine the relationship between the
students' initial curiosity levels to their
curiosity levels after a novel, hands-on
informal learning experience;
3. To investigate the interaction of each of
the four aptitudes (verbal ability, general
curiosity, science curiosity, and the amount
of effort invested in the learning
experience) with the various treatments.
The results of the analyses 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
Programs Library and the SAS Language Library.
46

47
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 20
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.
Data were also obtained for each subject on
posttest written general curiosity, science curiosity,
and the amount of time each subject spent in exploratory

Table 4
Aptitude Data
Pretest Pretest
Verbal Ability General Curiosity Science Curiosity Invested Effort
a
Treatment
n
Mean
SD
n
Mean
SD
n
Mean
SD
n
Mean
SD
A-T
31
11.53
3.59
31
9.62
3.34
31
17.34
6.64
31
16.37
1.83
A-NT
31
12.23
3.91
31
9.67
2.62
31
17.07
6.46
31
16.81
3.53
NA-T
34
11.35
3.42
34
10.36
2.49
34
18.00
7.21
34
17.56
2.15
NA-NT
33
11.09
2.98
33
10.68
1.94
33
19.00
5.02
33
16.42
2.77
A-T = attention cues given, test cues given;
A-NT = attention cues given, no test cues given;
NA-T = no attention cues given, test cues given;
NA-NT = neither attention cues nor test cues given.
•p>
oo

Table 5
Posttest Data
a
Treatment
Factual Items
Inferential Items
Total Posttest
Viewing Time
n
Mean
SD
n
Mean
SD
n
Mean
SD
n
Mean
SD
A-T
31
6.87
2.29
31
2.40
1.89
31
9.27
3.47
31
6.22
3.48
A-NT
31
6.52
1.84
31
2.55
1.55
31
9.07
2.68
31
6.38
3.09
NA-T
34
7.03
2.44
34
3.44
2.65
34
10.18
3.64
34
6.13
2.79
NA-NT
33
6.91
2.07
33
2.67
1.59
33
9.58
3.00
33
7.55
2.73
a
A-T = attention cues given, test cues given;
A-NT = attention cues given, no test cues given;
NA-T = no attention cues given, test cues given;
NA-NT = neither attention cues nor test cues given.

50
behavior (psychomotor 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.
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.
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
cues and test cues, a regression equation was used
containing both attention cues and test cues as
components of the regression model. Dependent measures

Table 6
Posttest Curiosity Data
Posttest
General Curiosity
Posttest
Science Curiosity
Psychomotor
b
Curiosity
a
Treatment
n
Mean
SD
n
Mean
SD
n
Mean
SD
A-T
31
12.93
3.27
31
25.17
4.89
31
3.74
2.79
A-NT
31
14.23
2.79
31
25.16
5.58
31
3.80
3.09
NA-T
34
13.85
3.12
34
26.18
5.45
34
4.21
2.53
NA-NT
33
13.82
2.96
33
24.70
3.92
33
5.27
2.73
A-T = attention cues given, test cues given;
A-NT = attention cues given, no test cues given;
NA-T = no attention cues given, test cues given;
Na-NT = neither attention cues nor test cues given.
b
Reported in minutes of exploratory behavior.

Table 7
Curiosity Change Score Data
a
Change in
General Curiosity
Change in
Science Curiosity
Treatment
n
Mean
SD
Minimum
Maximum
n
Mean
SD
Minimum
Maximum
A-T
31
+
3.52
3.59
- 3.00
+
12.00
31
+
7.86
6.39
- 4.00
+
21.00
A-NT
31
+
4.66
2.83
- 2.00
+
11.00
31
+
8.17
7.13
- 8.00
+
18.00
NA-T
34
+
4.91
7.84
- 2.00
+
46.00
34
+
8.09
6.88
- 4.00
+
26.00
NA-NT
33
+
3.23
3.07
- 3.00
+
8.00
33
+
6.06
4.26
- 2.00
+
13.00
A-T = attention cues given, test cues given;
A-NT = attention cues given, no test cues given;
NA-T = no attention cues given, test cues given;
NA-NT = neither attention cues nor test cues given.
Ui
to

53
included the constructed factual items, the inferential
items (forced choice items and items that required
drawings), and the total posttest. Summary 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
criterion test. Summary statistics for these analyses
appear in Table 9.

54
Table 8
Summary Table of Dependent Variable Main Effects
Source
df
SS
MS
F
Constructed factual
items
Attention
Cues
1
3.12
3.12
0.67
Test Cues
1
2.76
2.76
0.59
Residual
126
584.32
4.64
Total
128
590.20
Inferential items
Attention
Cues
1
6.12
6.12
1.91
Test Cues
1
1.91
1.91
0.60
Residual
126
404.78
3.21
Total
128
412.81
Total Posttest
Attention
Cues
1
17.98
17.98
1.74
Test Cues
1
9.26
9.26
0.90
Residual
126
1302.57
10.34
Total
128
1329.81

55
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
* p < .05

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) = 4.06, £ =
.04. 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/l, 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.
Subjects who demonstrate high levels of written
curiosity before approaching the exhibit will
perform significantly better on both the motor

57
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 as hands-on exploratory behavior),
written posttest general curiosity, and written posttest
science curiosity as 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,
F(1, 122) = 3.37, £ = .068. The pretest written science
curiosity variable was found to be significant, F_( 1,
122) = 11.63, £ = .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(1, 121) = 16.51, j> = .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
criterion performance and aptitudes of subjects as
measured by the vocabulary, curiosity, and invested
mental effort measures.

Table 10
Analyses of Variance for Curiosity Levels
58
Source
df
SS
MS
F
Psychomotor
Curiosity
Pretest 1
Written Science
Curiosity
94726.56
94726.56
3.37
Residual
Total
122
123
3428987.83
3523714.39
28106.46
Posttest Written Science Curiosity
Pretest 1
Written Science
Curiosity
241.54
241.54
11.63 *
Residual
Total
122
123
2534.42
2775.96
20.77
Posttest Written General Curiosity
Pretest 1
Written General
Curiosity
127.95
127.95
16.51 *
Residual
Total
121
122
937.71
1065.66
7.75
* jj < .05

59
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 as the dependent variable. No signi¬
ficant interactions were found for general curiosity,
F_( 1, 127) = .71, £ = -40; for science curiosity, F_( 1,
122) = .11, 2 = .74; for the amount of invested mental
effort, F(1, 127) = .19, 2 = -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, 2 = *04. The summary statistics for this
Verbal Ability x Attention Cues x Test Cues interaction
appear in Table 11.
Three-way interactions were also investigated using
the 10 posttest inferential items as the dependent

60
Table 11
Summary of Statistics for Testing Interactions of
Verbal Ability x Attention Cues x Test Cues
Source
df
SS
MS
F
Factual Items
Verbal Ability x
Attention x Test
1
19.65
19.65
4.38 *
Residual
127
570.55
4.49
Total
128
590.20
Inferential Items
Verbal Ability x
Attention x Test
1
4.03
4.03
1.25
Residual
127
408.77
3.22
Total
128
412.80
Total Posttest
Verbal Ability x
Attention x Test
1
41.50
41.50
4.09 *
Residual
127
1228.32
10.14
Total
128
1329.82
Posttest Science Curiosity
Verbal Ability x
Attention x Test
1
1.50
1.50
.06
Residual
127
2932.08
23.09
Total
128
2933.58
* £ < .05

61
variable. No significant interactions were found for
general curiosity, F(l, 122) = .89, £ = .35; for science
curiosity, F_( 1 , 122) = .09, £ = .76; for the amount of
invested effort £(1, 127) = .20, £ = .65; for psycho¬
motor curiosity, F_( 1, 127) = .01, £ = .91; or for verbal
ability, _F( 1, 127) = 1.25, £ = .26. The summary
statistics for the Verbal Ability x Attention Cues x
Test Cues interaction appear in Table 11.
Possible three-way interactions were investigated
using the total posttest as the dependent variable. No
significant interactions were found for general
curiosity, F_( 1 , 122) = 1.18, £ = .28; for science
curiosity F_(l, 122) = .15, £ = .70; for the amount of
invested mental effort, F.( 1, 127) = .29, £ = .59; or for
psychomotor curiosity, _F( 1, 127) = .61, £ = .44. A
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(1, 122) = .26, £ = .61; for science
curiosity F.( 1, 122) = 1.51, £ = .22; for the amount of
invested mental effort, F_( 1, 127) = 1.23, £ = .27; for
psychomotor curiosity, F^( 1, 127) = 1.73, £ = .19; or for
verbal ability F.( 1 , 127) = .06, £ = .80. The summary
statistics for the Verbal Ability x Attention Cues x

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. Two-way interactions for
Verbal Ability 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. No
significant Verbal Ability x Attention Cues interactions
were found for inferential items, _F(1, 66) = .34, =
.56, or for the total posttest, _F(1, 66) = 2.45, £ =
.12, although the interaction for factual items
approached significance, _F(1, 66) = 3.46, £ = .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 x Test Cue interactions were found for factual
items, F.(l, 59) = 7.74, j) = .007 and for the total
posttest, F_( 1, 59) = 9.07, j> = .004. A Verbal Ability x
Test Cue interaction approached significance for the
inferential items, F_( 1, 59) = 3.79, £ = .056. When
attention cues were not given, significant interactions

63
were found for factual items, _F(1, 66) = 9.18, j3 = .004
and for the total posttest, _F( 1 , 66) = 9.53, £ = .003.
No significant interaction was found for inferential
items, F_( 1, 66) = 3.32, jd = .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 2 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
students.
For the total posttest, when attention cues were
given, the same trend was detected. The no test cue
condition favored the low ability students while the

64
Table 12
Statistics for Verbal Ability x Test Cue Interactions
(Attention Cues Given)
Source
df
SS
MS
F
Factual Items
Verbal Ability
x Test Cue
1
29.57
29.57
7.74 *
Residual
59
225.51
3.82
Total
60
255.08
Inferential Items
Verbal Ability
x Test Cue
1
10.56
10.56
3.79
Residual
59
164.65
2.79
Total
60
175.21
Total Posttest
Verbal Ability
x Test Cue
1
75.49
75.49
9.07 *
Residual
59
490.87
8.32
Total
60
566.36
* 2. < .05

65
Table 13
Statistics for Verbal Ability x Test Cue Interactions
(No Attention Cues Given)
Source
df
SS
MS
F
Factual Items
Verbal Ability
x Test Cue
1
40.53
40.53
9.18 *
Residual
66
291.47
4.42
Total
67
332.00
Inferential Items
Verbal Ability
x Test Cue
1
11.09
11.09
3.32
Residual
66
220.38
3.34
Total
67
237.47
Total Posttest
Verbal Ability
x Test Cue
1
94.04
94.04
9.53 *
Residual
66
651.43
9.87
Total
67
745.47
* p < .05

Factual Items
NA-T
J I I L I -L
6
10 12 14
Verbal Ability
NA-NT
A-T
A-NT
16 18 20
Figure 1. Interaction of Verbal Ability with Treatments for Factual Items
CT>
cr>

13
NA-T
Verbal Ability
Figure 2. Interaction of Verbal Ability with Treatments for Total Posttest
O'»

68
Table 14
Intercepts and Slopes for Regression Lines
For Verbal Ability x Treatment Interactions
a
Treatment
Intercept
Slope
Factual Items
A-T
5.9
.08
A-NT
7.0
-.03
NA-T
4.1
.24
NA-NT
5.0
. 18
Total Posttest
A-T
4.15
.44
A-NT
7.73
.09
NA-T
5.72
.40
NA-NT
5.94
.32
a
A-T = attention cues given, test cue given;
A-NT = attention cues given, no test cue given;
NA-T = no attention cues 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,
2. 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,
5. Psychomotor Curiosity x Attention Cues for
factual items,
6. Psychomotor Curiosity x Attention Cues for
inferential items,
7. Psychomotor Curiosity x Attention Cues for total
posttest,

70
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 x Test Cue for factual items,
14. Science Curiosity 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
posttest,
20. Psychomotor Curiosity x Test Cue for posttest
written curiosity,

71
21. Amount of Invested Mental Effort x Test Cue
for factual items,
22. Amount of Invested Mental Effort x Test Cue
for inferential items,
23. 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, 3 significant
interactions were detected. 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, = .04;
for the Amount of Invested Mental Effort x Test Cue,
F_( 1, 127) = 4.21, 2. = .04; and for Psychomotor Curiosity
x Test Cue, _F( 1, 127) = 4.51, j) = .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
Curiosity x Attention Cues interaction detected the
difference to be between the attention cues, no test cue
treatment (A-NT) versus the no attention cues, no test
cue treatment (NA-NT). The attention cue condition

72
Table 15
Nonsignificant F Values for Aptitude x Treatment
Interactions for Factual Items and Inferential Items
Interaction
df
F
Factual Items
Science Curiosity x Attention
1,
122
.96
Science Curiosity x Test Cue
1,
122
.02
Mental Effort x Attention
1,
127
1
.90
Mental Effort x Test Cue
1,
127
.01
Psychomotor Curiosity x Attention
1,
127
3
.01
Psychomotor Curiosity x Test Cue
1,
127
1
.49
Inferential Items
Science Curiosity x Attention
1,
122
1
. 10
Science Curiosity x Test Cue
1,
122
.09
Mental Effort x Attention
1,
127
3
.43
Mental Effort x Test Cue
1,
127
.00
Psychomotor Curiosity x Attention
1,
127
.79
Psychomotor Curiosity x Test Cue
1,
127
.20

73
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 x Test Cue 1, 122 .00
Mental Effort x Attention 1, 127 3.58
Mental Effort x Test Cüe 1, 127 .00
Psychomotor Curiosity x Attention 1, 127 2.74
Psychomotor Curiosity x Test Cue 1, 127 1.13
Posttest Written Science Curiosity
Science Curiosity x Test Cue 1, 122 3.56
Mental Effort x Attention 1, 127 3.80
Psychomotor Curiosity x Attention 1, 127 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
1
95.64
95.64 4.35
*
Residual
122
2680.32
21.97
Total
123
2775.96
Posttest
Written
Science
Curiosity
Amount of Invested
Mental Effort x
Test Cue
1
94.10
94.10 4.21
*
Residual
127
2839.49
22.36
Total
128
2933.59
Posttest
Written
Science
Curiosity
Psychomotor
Curiosity x
Test Cue
1
100.66
100.66 4.51
*
Residual
127
2832.92
22.31
Total
128
2933.58
* £ < .05

Posttest Science Curiosity
33
Pretest Science Curiosity
Figure 3. Interaction of Pretest Science Curiosity x Attention Cues for
Posttest Science Curiosity

Posttest Science Curiosity
24
J I I I I I L
12 14 16 18 20 22 24
20
Lyl
10
Amount of Mental Effort
Figure 4. Interaction of Amount of Mental Effort x Test Cue for
Posttest Science Curiosity
CT>

27
26
22
1
A-NT
A-T
1
1
I
0123456789
Psychomotor Curiosity (in minutes)
Figure 5. Interaction of Psychomotor Curiosity x Test Cue for Posttest Science Curiosity
10

78
Table 18
Intercepts and Slopes for Regression Lines
For Posttest Written Science Curiosity
As the Dependent Variable
Treatment
a
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
Psychomot
or 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.

79
resulted in higher posttest science curiosity scores for
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 is necessary for learning to
take place, many students require cues and
focusing devices to hold their attention.
2. Structure and organization of the material to be
learned reduces the internal processing burden
placed upon the learner.
3. Any variable such as 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
due to the differences in learner aptitudes.
80

81
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 .
2. 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 as
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
effects were detected for either attention cues or for
test cues with any of the dependent measures.

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
eductional 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 as 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
known how to use cues that were provided since this
frequently is not taught in the classroom and was not
part of this particular study. Without utilizing the

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.
Analyses of variance were performed using the
amount of invested mental effort and the inferential
portion of the criterion measure as the dependent
variables. A significant statistic indicated

84
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. In
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
was the dependent variable, a significant test cue
effect was detected. Follow-up tests indicated that the
treatment that contained test cues only was superior to
the treatment that consisted of both test cues and

85
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. T. Wilson & Koran,
1976). This type of cue usually preconditions students
to find 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. T. Wilson, 1973).
Those in the treatment with test cues only were
able to make more and better inferences, perhaps because
there were no attention cues to interfere with their
own cognitive strategies and their perception of the

86
importance of the task. These students may have been
influenced by the test cue alone to perceive the task as
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 2 variables were significantly
correlated, but a written form of curiosity did not
predict psychomotor curiosity. In light of the many
constructs of curiosity found in the literature (Hazen,
1982; Kreitler et al., 1975; R. W. Peterson & Lowery,

87
1972), it is 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. The
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 as 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
matter what the treatment, produced an increased mean
written posttest curiosity score. This outcome could
have been due to the novelty of a manipulative exhibit

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. An
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
treatment (A-NT) was better for subjects scoring lower
in verbal ability while the no attention cues, test cue
(NA-T) treatment was better for those scoring higher in
verbal ability.

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 proceses (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
were significant three-way interactions. There were
none for Curiosity or for the Amount of Invested Mental
Effort x Attention Cues x Test Cues with the dependent
variables of factual items, inferential items, or total

90
posttest. This is 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 x Attention Cues detected the nature of the
difference. 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. One
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
with attention cues, but could fully explore the various
sizes, shapes, textures, and complexities of the shells.
Perhaps those who were high in pretest written science
curiosity were so curious that the attention cues served

91
to channel their curiosity to the specifics delineated
by the attention cues. The no test cue condition was
better for both high and low curiosity subjects which
allowed them to pursue their curious ideas without the
threat of being tested on content.
The Amount of Mental Effort x Test Cue interaction
indicated that students who invested a low amount of
mental effort benefited from the attention, no test cue
treatment (A-NT) when curiosity was the criterion
measure. 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.
Those subjects who reported investing a low amount of
mental effort did not think that the task was important
or worth learning; therefore, the attention cues served
to focus their attention to the differences in the
shells of the exhibit and perhaps spawned their
curiosity. The no test condition allowed curiosity of
these subjects to be nurtured without the imposition of
a test.
Those subjects who reported they invested a high
amount of invested mental effort thought the task was
important to learn and were very task-oriented. The
attention cues provided them with an outline of what
features of the shells they should have been concerned
about learning. The knowledge of a forthcoming test

92
could have increased their mental effort thereby-
contributing to the higher mental effort scores which
were measured immediately after they viewed the exhibit.
The higher posttest written science curiosity scores by
these subjects could have resulted by chance or because
these students also had higher pretest written science
curiosity levels.
Follow-up tests on the Psychomotor Curiosity x Test
Cue interaction indicated that subjects who explored
less had higher posttest written science curiosity
scores in the attention, test cue treatment (A-T). One
possible explanation is that these students may have
expressed their curiosity as written rather than as
psychomotor. The attention cues could have served to
heighten their passive cognitive exploration versus
active psychomotor exploration (Kreitler et al., 1975).
These subjects may have been stimulated to perceive the
novelty and irregularity of the shells in the exhibit as
prompted by the attention cues. Along with the deep
cognitive processing of students, these cues may have
enabled them to effectively code the information into
memory. J. J. Koran and Longino (1982) proposed that
when information is retrieved from memory, the retrieval
evokes a response that perpetuates curiosity. Thus,
these subjects could have responded to their retrieval
of information by exhibiting higher written posttest

93
curiosity even though the observed psychomotor curiosity
was low. These subjects may have also responded to the
test cue with increased cognitive exploration. Know¬
ledge of an impending test has been found to enhance
performance (Wong et al., 1982) and perhaps the
enhancement for these students was in the form of
increased written curiosity.
Subjects who spent more time exploring the shells
in the exhibit had higher posttest written science
curiosity scores in the attention cues, no test cue
treatment (A-NT). These students expressed their
curiosity as psychomotor during the time they were in
the vicinity of the shell exhibit. The attention cues
may have redirected this curiosity and may have helped
these students cognitively perceive, process, and
internalize their psychomotor curiosity. As they coded
what they learned from their exploratory behavior into
memory, it reinforced responsiveness. Since their only
means to convey this response directly after the hands-
on museum experience was written, their process of
information retrieval may have evoked their cognitive
curiosity which they expressed as posttest written
curiosity.
The no test cue condition may have allowed these
subjects to pursue their curiosity without the threat of
being tested on content. Since these subjects had a

94
higher mean in verbal ability, it allowed them to
process a great amount of sensory data (Allen, 1975).
Thus, the exploratory behavior that was observed by the
experimenters could have been accompanied by cognitive
exploration about which the experimenters were not
aware. Curiosity, as explained by Kreitler et al.
(1975), is not a unitary construct; therefore, curiosity
could be expressed by students in one or in several
forms. Data showed that these students expressed
curiosity both as psychomotor and as written on the
posttest; this partially supported the fifth hypothesis.
In summary, three-way interactions were found with
vocabulary as the aptitude. In general, lower ability
students benefited from attention cues which provided
them with needed instructional support as suggested by
Tobias (1982). Higher ability students performed better
without attention cues as these subjects had their own
learning strategies upon which they could draw. The no
test cue condition was better for lower ability students
while the test cue condition benefited the higher
ability, more task-oriented students (Cronbach & Snow,
1977; Ebmeier, 1978).
Two-way interactions were detected when posttest
written science curiosity was the dependent variable and
when pretest science curiosity, the amount of invested
mental effort, and psychomotor curiosity were each an

95
independent variable. Factors which may have led to low
power in detecting other interactions were the numbers
of subjects in each treatment as well as the length of
the treatment. Cronbach and Snow (1977) suggested that
minimum of 100 subjects per treatment and treatments
that lasted several weeks be incorporated into studies
attempting to find Aptitude x Treatment interactions.
In this initial study investigating the effect of cues,
verbal ability, and curiosity upon learning from a
museum exhibit, these suggestions were not deemed
practical. In fact, if followed, these conditions may
have led to serious questions of internal validity.
Some of the sources of invalidity that were
controlled for in this short study were history,
maturation, and mortality. History was controlled as
each group of students was sequestered during the week
of the study during school hours. Students did not
discuss what they had experienced with their peers and
there was no possible access to a museum for these
subjects for the duration of the experiment. These
factors were monitored by the teachers and by the
experimenters.
Maturation did not present a threat to validity in
this study due to its short duration. If a study were
to be carried out over an extended period such as a
school year, maturation would pose a problem.

96
Mortality can easily become a problem in areas
where people are quite transient and children leave
school. It would be quite difficult to conduct a long-
range study in a public school in rural Florida. In
this study, mortality was not a threat as the study was
conducted within a two week period.
The low reliability coefficients calculated for the
AIME Scale (0.38), the Factual Posttest (0.60), and the
Inferential Postest (0.57) would account for reduced
chances of more interactions being detected. Although
the AIME Scale in Salomon's (1984) study was reported to
have a Cronbach Alpha of 0.81, only a general
description was given concerning the types of questions
used. The scale was applied to the learning of a story,
a more detailed and more explicit formal experience, and
not to a museum study. Future museum research might
focus on developing more reliable measures.
Another factor which may have presented some
difficulty in this study was that an adult was present
during the time the subjects were perusing and/or
learning from the exhibit. R. W. Peterson (1975)
found that this depressed the curiosity expression of
subjects.
Conclusion
Although many educators, psychologists, and
textbook writers have professed the theory that

97
attention cues and tests cues are helpful for all
students to reach certain educational goals, no research
studies were located that investigated different types
of students' achievement or their resultant curiosity
after a hands-on museum exhibit encounter utilizing
treatments with and without such cues. This study found
that giving students attention cues and/or test cues did
not ensure that learning would take place. The fact
that no main effects were found was not discouraging;
rather, an Aptitude x Treatment effect was found with
verbal ability as the aptitude. Lower ability students
were found to do better with attention cues while those
of higher verbal ability did better without attention
cues .
Lower ability students also benefited from a
treatment that contained no test cues while higher
ability students performed best in a task-oriented test
cue condition. Perhaps low ability students, who
usually have low self-esteem, and perceive themselves as
having low self-efficacy, are threatened by and have
increased anxiety when they know they are to be tested.
Although anxiety was not an aptitude measured in this
study, it has been found that low ability, high anxiety
students achieved more when there was high structure and
when no demands were made on them (P. Peterson, 1977;
Seiber, 1977). Perhaps this accounts for the advantage
the attention cue, no test cue condition had for the

98
low ability students in this study. Additional research
is needed using different museum exhibits, different
ability students with various aptitudes, and research
that takes place for varying periods of time.
Salomon's (1983, 1984) research concerning the
amount of invested mental effort and its effect upon
inferential learning was extended in this study.
Students who chose to invest more mental effort while
studying the museum exhibit were able to make
significantly more and better inferences. A test cue
only treatment seemed to influence students to perceive
the task as important to learn; therefore, they were
able to make superior inferences.
The paradigm that curiosity is a multi-dimensional
construct was substantiated in this study. A written
form of science curiosity did not predict the psycho¬
motor or exploratory form of curiosity; however, a
pretest written form of curiosity did significantly
predict the posttest written form of curiosity after the
hands-on type of museum exhibit experience. Although
the opportunity to manipulate the shells in the exhibit
produced an increased mean written curiosity score,
curiosity, as measured in this study, was not found to
have a significant main effect upon learning from a
museum exhibit. Perhaps an exhibit that allows the
learner to solve a problem with greater interaction

99
would be more appropriate in future research studies to
discern the effects of students' curiosity levels upon
learning. Further research is needed that encompasses
students' science curiosity in written, psychomotor, and
verbal forms while employing a high power design in
order to detect any possible Aptitude x Treatment
interaction effects.

APPENDIX A
EXAMPLES OF THE WRITTEN TREATMENT CARDS
Card # 1: Attention Cues and Test Cues Given (A-T):
PLEASE READ THIS CARD CAREFULLY
DIRECTIONS:
1) You may touch and look at these shells.
2) You may be at the exhibit for up to 10 minutes.
3) Learn as much as you can about the shells.
You will be given a TEST after you are finished to
see how much you have learned.
4) Please return each shell to its place when finished.
SOME CLUES:
1) A univalve is a shell that is all one part.
2) A bivalve is a shell that has two parts or two
halves that look alike.
3) Bivalves were connected together by muscles.
They acted like a hinge on a door.
4) Most muscles come loose after the animal dies.
SOME MORE CLUES:
1) How are the shells the same or different in:
a) color? c. size?
b) shape? d. roughness or smoothness?
2) Is there anything unusual about any of the shells?
3) What different kinds of animals lived inside the
different kinds of shells?
Card # 2: No Attention Cues Given, Test Cues Given (NA-T):
PLEASE READ THIS CARD CAREFULLY
DIRECTIONS:
1) You may touch and look at these shells.
2) You may be at the exhibit for up to 10 minutes.
3) Learn as much as you can about the shells. You
will be given a TEST after you are finished to see
how much you have learned.
4) Please return each shell to its place when finished.
SOME CLUES:
1) A univalve is a shell that is all one part.
2) A bivalve is a shell that has two parts or two
halves that look alike.
3) Bivalves used to be connected together by muscles.
They acted like a hinge on a door.
4) Most muscles come loose after the animal dies.
100

101
Card # 3: Attention Cues Given, No Test Cues Given (A-NT):
PLEASE READ THIS CARD CAREFULLY
DIRECTIONS:
1) You may touch and look at these shells.
2) You may be at the exhibit for up to 10 minutes.
3) Please return each shell to its place when finished.
SOME INFORMATION:
1) A univalve is a shell that is all one part.
2) A bivalve is a shell that has two parts or two
halves that look alike.
3) Bivalves were connected together by muscles.
They acted like a hinge on a door.
4) Most muscle hinges come loose after the animal dies.
SOME THINGS TO THINK ABOUT:
1) How are the shells the same or different in:
a) color? c) size?
b) shape? d) roughness or smoothness
2) Is there anything unusual about any of the shells?
3) What different kinds of animals lived inside the
different kinds of shells?
Card # 4: No Attention Cues nor Test Cues Given (NA-NT):
PLEASE READ THIS CARD CAREFULLY
DIRECTIONS:
1) You may touch and look at these shells.
2) You may be at the exhibit for up to 10 minutes.
3) Please return each shell to its place when finished.
SOME INFORMATION:
1) A univalve is a shell that is all one part.
2) A bivalve is a shell that has two parts or two
halves that look alike.
3) Bivalves were connected together by muscles.
They acted like a hinge on a door.
4) Most muscle hinges come loose after the animal dies.

102
APPENDIX B
PHOTOGRAPH OF THE SHELL EXHIBIT

APPENDIX C
QUESTIONS USED FOR THE GENERAL SCIENCE CURIOSITY SCALE
(Modified and Adapted from Penney and McCann, 1964)
DIRECTIONS: There are no right or wrong answers.
Read each of the statements below and Circle T
for True, or F for False, showing how you feel.
I. I like to wear the same kinds of outfits T F
usually .
*2. I like everyone I meet. T F
3. I like to visit zoos. T F
4. The TV news is boring. T F
5. It’s fun to go to the mall to look around. T F
6. I like to try different kinds of foods. T F
7. It would be fun to visit someone in another T F
town.
8. I would rather stay home than go to the mall. T F
*9. I don't even tell small lies. T F
10. I like to visit museums. T F
II. I like to eat in different restaurants. T F
12. It's fun to see the inside of old buildings. T F
13. I like to read about people who live in T F
other countries.
*14. I always say the right things to everyone. T F
15. It's fun to watch men working outdoors. T F
16. I usually drink the same kind of soda. T F
17. I only have one hobby. T F
18. I like to go on vacation or go to camp. T F
19. I like to watch the rain. T F
*20. I never get mad at anyone. T F
* Lie items.
103

APPENDIX D
EXAMPLES FROM THE SCIENCE CURIOSITY SCALE
(Adapted from Harty and Beall, 1984)
DIRECTIONS: There are no right or wrong answers. Place
the number which shows how you feel in the
blank that follows each statement.
4 = Very much so
3 = Moderately so
2 = Somewhat
1 = Not at all
1. I like to watch science fiction movies.
2. It is boring to read about plants and animals.
3. I want to know why it is windy sometimes.
4. I would like to see scientists in their laboratories.
5. I like to go to the planetarium and see the stars.
6. I don't like to do any science experiments.
7. I'd like to know more about space travel and the
space shuttle.
8. I like to take things apart and put them
together again.
9. I'd like to find out how animals know when to
hibernate.
10.I like to watch how clouds make pictures in the
sky .
104

APPENDIX E
AIME SCALE (AMOUNT OF INVESTED MENTAL EFFORT)
(Adapted from Suggestions by Salomon, 1983)
DIRECTIONS: Please be HONEST when giving your answers.
Circle the answer that best tells how you felt.
1. How important to you was it to learn about these shells?
A. Very important
B. Moderately important
C. Not too important
D. Not important at all
2. How much of the time in the exhibit room did you touch
the shells?
A. All of the time
B. Most of the time
C. About half of the time
D. Not much of the time
3. How hard did it seem to learn about these shells?
A. Very hard
B. Moderately hard
C. Not too hard
D. Not hard at all
4. How hard did you concentrate on learning all about
these shells?
A. Very hard
B. Moderately hard
C. Not too hard
D. Not hard at all
5. How much of the time in the exhibit room did you think
of things that were not about the shells?
A. All of the time
B. Most of the time
C. About half of the time
D. Not much of the time
6. How much effort do you think you put into learning from
this exhibit?
A. Very much effort
B. Moderate amount of effort
C. A little effort
D. Really not much effort at all
105

APPENDIX F
FACTUAL POSTTEST AND INFERENTIAL POSTTEST
LET'S SEE WHAT YOU LEARNED FROM THE SHELL EXHIBIT
DIRECTIONS: Put your answers in the blanks on
right.
1.
What color was the biggest shell?
1.
2.
Was that biggest shell a univalve
or a bivalve?
2.
3.
What was stuck inside one shell?
3.
4.
In which corner did you see a shell
that had a look of pearl inside?
4.
5.
What is the name of the animals
the exhibit said made these shells?
5.
6.
What color was the very shiny
ceramic looking shell?
6.
7.
Where did these shells originally
come from?
7.
8.
What do you call a shell that has
two halves that look alike?
8.
9.
Was the very shiny shell rough or
smooth?
9.
10.
Why do animals make shells?
10.
11. A few of the shells had holes in
them because:
A. the animals needed to breethe 11.
B. the shells were old
C. they were made that way
D. the action of sand and water made the holes
E. I don't know
12. One shell had one small half and one
large half because it:
A. is not a real bivalve 12.
B. is broken
C. had two different animals in it
D. was still growing
E. I don't know
106

107
13. Shells have different colors
because of:
A. the way they are collected 13.
B. the sand where they were found
C. their hardness
D. heredity and the type they were
E. I don't know
14. Shells are hard because they:
A. are used for ashtrays 14.
B. are not made by humans
C. are like skeletons
D. harden in the air
E. I don't know
15. The
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
ridges or lines on shells:
are different on different shells
depends on the shell's shape 15.
depends on the shell's color
is because of the action of water and sand
I don't know
16.Some shells are larger than others
because they:
A. contained more water 16.
B. grew older
C. grew faster
D. grew slower
E. I don't know
17.Draw the shape of the animal that used to live in
the very dark, skinny shell:
18.Below make three drawings:
A. Draw a shell with a small baby animal inside it.
B. Then draw the shell after the same animal grew
and was about a year old.
C. Last, draw the shell after the same animal grew
to be five years old.

APPENDIX G
SCIENCE CURIOSITY POSTTEST
DIRECTIONS: A. This part has NO right or wrong answers.
B. After you read each sentence, decide how
you feel about it.
C. Then put one of the numbers below in the
blank at the right.
Use these numbers: 1 = Not at all
2 = Somewhat
3 = Moderately so
4 = Very much so
A. The shell exhibit was very interesting.
B. I found it hard to think so I could learn
about the shells.
C. I thought it was fun to learn and under-
stand things about shells.
D. I felt that the shell exhibit was boring.
E. I enjoyed learning about some shells that
were new to me.
F. I enjoyed seeing and learning new things
about shells in general.
G. I lost interest when I had to think about
how shells were the same and different.
H. I would rather learn about shells from a
book or from the teacher.
108

APPENDIX H
CORRELATION MATRIX OF TESTING MEASURES
(With Corresponding £ Values)
a
VB
GC
SC
AIME
FACT
INF
PGC
PSC
VB 1.00
.07
.06
.15
.32
.22
.05
.18
.00
.46
.48
.08
.0002
.01
.54
.05
GC
1.00
.39
.17
.09
. 26
.37
. 27
.00
.0001
.06
.31
.004
.0001
.002
SC
1.00
..27
.03
.22
.35
.35
.00
.002
. 74
.02
.0001
.0001
AIME
1.00
.16
.13
.25
.45
.00
.07
. 13
.005
.0001
FACT
1.00
.26
.14
.03
.00
.004
. 13
.76
INF
1.00
. 14
.23
.00
.13
.009
PGC
1.00
.39
.00
.0001
PSC 1.00
.00
VB
GC
SC
AIME
FACT
INF
PGC
PSC
Vocabulary
Pretest General Curiosity
Pretest Science Curiosity
Amount of Invested Mental Effort
Factual Scale
Inferential Scale
Posttest General Curiosity
Posttest Science Curiosity
109

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH
Wilhelmina Mauer Fire was born on December 24,
1936, in Youngstown, Ohio. She attended Youngstown
State University on a scholarship and completed the
required 3 years to become a nationally registered
medical technologist. In 1957, during her year of
internship, she married Charles C. Fire and subsequent¬
ly had three children. She worked as a medical
technologist for 14 years in the laboratories of St.
Elizabeth Hospital Medical Center and taught in the
associated school of medical technology for 4 years.
After 16 years of intermittent study, Mrs. Fire
earned a Bachelor of Science in medical technology,
cum laude, from Youngstown State University. In 1971,
she received a Bachelor of Science in Education, cum
laude. She then taught eighth grade life science and
seventh grade general science and reading at East Middle
School in Windham, Ohio, before moving to Miami in 1973.
At the Summit Academy of Learning in Miami,
Florida, she created a science department by designing
the classroom and laboratory facilities in addition to
developing the science curricula. She was also the
master teacher for these sciences which ranged from
general science to chemistry, zoology, human physiology,
122

123
and microbiology. During her tenure at the academy, she
received the Presidential Award for Excellence in
Teaching (1974) and was nominated the Outstanding High
School Teacher of the Year (1976).
Mrs. Fire joined Bascom Palmer Eye Institute/Anne
Bates Leach Eye Hospital at the University of Miami
School of Medicine to supervise, organize, and to
restructure the microbiology laboratory. In addition to
these responsibilities, Mrs. Fire was the inservice
instructor and infection control practitioner. During
this period, she was a graduate student at the Univer¬
sity of Miami; she graduated in 1979 with a Master of
Science in Education.
She continued at Bascom Palmer and joined the part-
time faculty of Miami-Dade Community College, Medical
Campus, as an instructor in microbiology lecture and
laboratory. Mrs. Fire was an invited faculty member to
the American Society for Microbiology National
Conventions in Las Vegas (1978) and in Miami Beach
(1980) to organize and conduct workshops on ocular
microbiology. Mrs. Fire privately tutored mathematics,
statistics, chemistry, and microbiology from the early
1970s until recently.
In 1980, Mrs. Fire decided to pursue a doctoral
degree. Her first year was spent in a cooperative
program between the University of Florida and Florida

124
International University. However, after the prescribed
summer on campus at Gainesville, she decided to join the
full-time program at the University of Florida in order
to maximize her learning potential. She resigned from
both her positions and moved to Gainesville where she
lived for two years. She finally had the opportunity to
"go away to college" at the age of 45!
Mrs. Fire was a graduate research assistant in the
Department of Special Education and both a graduate
research assistant and graduate teaching assistant in
the Department of Instruction and Curriculum while
studying at the University of Florida.
Dr. Fire presently is an Assistant Professor of
microbiology at Miami-Dade Community College, Medical
Campus, and is the resource person on Acquired Immune
Deficiency Syndrome. She also is a guest lecturer on
research design and statistics at Nova University.
Her professional affiliations include: Kappa Delta
Pi Education Honorary, Phi Delta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi
Scholastic Honorary, Association for Supervision and
Curriculum, National Science Teachers Association,
American Society for Microbiology.
In her leisure time, Dr. Fire collects antique
bells and commemorative stamps. She expects to have
more time now that her education is completed and that
all of the children are working professionals: Kathy

125
is a microbiologist, Karen is an SLD (Specific Learning
Disabilities) teacher, and Ken is a music teacher and
band director.
In the future, Dr. Fire hopes to continue to be an
effective educator while publishing some of the many
articles formulating in her mind. She and her husband
look forward to traveling and relaxing, that is, until
another challenge beckons around the next corner.

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.
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.
Mary Lou Reran
Professor of Foundations of
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 dissertatíp-tkyfor t/(\e degree o £ Doctor
of Philosophy.
Elroy' J. Bolduc, jr.
Professor of Instruction 'and
Curriculum'
I certify that I have read this study and that in
my opinion it conforms to aceptable standards of
scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope
and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor
of Philosophy.
Clemens L. Hallman
Professor of Instruction and
Curriculum
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.
Suzan^ L. Krogh
Associate Professor of
Instruction and Curriculum

This dissertation was submitted to the Graduate Faculty
of the College of Education and to the Graduate School
and was acepted as partial fulfillment of the
requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
December, 1985
Dean, Graduate School

Mí!iY,fRSITY OF florida
3 1262 08556 8813