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Dissertation Information for Kenneth Cory

NAME:
- Kenneth Cory

DEGREE:
- Ph.D.

DISCIPLINE:
- Library and Information Science

SCHOOL:
- University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (USA) (1990)

ADVISORS:
- David Hessler

COMMITTEE MEMBERS:
- Miranda Pao
- Victor Rosenberg
- Milan Marich Jr.

MPACT Status: Fully Complete

Title: Effects of display variables and cognitive field orientation on time to learn a task

Abstract: An experiment was conducted to investigate the relative merits of calling attention to important words and phrases on a video screen display by underlining, highlighting, and by no cueing. Also investigated was whether the effectiveness of display techniques is dependent upon a user's cognitive style.

The Thurstone and Jeffrey Closure Flexibility Test was used to identify 150 subjects; 75 were high in the field independent cognitive style and another 75 were high in the field dependent cognitive style. Twenty-five members of each cognitive style group were exposed to one of the treatment variables of underlining or highlighting. A control group was exposed to no treatment variables. The treatment variables were used to call attention to important words and phrases appearing in a tutorial which explained how to use the Grolier Electronic Encyclopedia in a CD-ROM format.

Results were evaluated according to an analysis of variance and a t-test. Underlining was demonstrated to be more effective than highlighting. Cognitive style was demonstrated to be a determining factor with field independent subjects finishing the tutorial significantly faster than the field dependent subjects. In every instance of significant variation between groups, either underlining, field independence, or a combination of both was found to be significant. The faster performance of field independent subjects while interacting with a video screen display was attributed to the fact that they tend to perceive objects more analytically and to separate objects from their embedded backgrounds, as opposed to less field independent subjects who tend to perceive objects in a global context.

Several explanations were advanced and considered according to the findings of cognitive science to make sense of the unexpected result that underlining was superior to highlighting as a cueing aid. These included: the user's familiarity with underlining; that underlining is a kind of stimulus that aids information transmission because of and not in spite of its complexity; the possibility that underlining and highlighting act upon perception in fundamentally different ways; that the brain responds to underlining as if it were responding to a word, and responds to highlighting as if it were responding to a picture and thus highlighting overly taxes the brain in forcing it to work simultaneously with text and pictures.

MPACT Scores for Kenneth Cory

A = 0
C = 0
A+C = 0
T = 0
G = 0
W = 0
TD = 0
TA = 0
calculated 2008-01-31 06:29:37

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Students under Kenneth Cory

ADVISEES:
- None

COMMITTEESHIPS:
- None