The effect of exaggeration of cartoons on the performance of field dependent learners
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Literature revealed that field dependent learners are affected by their level of cognitive style when they perceive a stimulus. Field dependent learners accept the information as presented, and they need help from outside to analyze this information. The more salient or noticeable cues affect the performance of field dependent learners despite the relevancy of these cues to the subject matter.
A review of the literature indicated that only the Hunter, Moore, & Sewell (1990) explored the relationship between cartoons and field-dependence. Their study suggested that field dependent learners would benefit from the exaggeration of salient cues in the cartoons; this suggestion framed the hypothesis of the current study. The present study assumed that exaggeration in the cartoons would maximize the performance of field dependent learners. Moreover, this study examined the suggestion of Hunter, Moore, and Sewell (1990), and if their suggestion was true, then the field dependent students who learned through the exaggeration treatment would outscore field dependents learned with no exaggeration.
Participants in this study were 66 freshmen students who attended English classes in the Writing Center at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. The students were randomly distributed into two groups. The teaching group studied English grammar with the exaggeration of cartoons employed as a teaching strategy. The control group studied the same materials, with no cartoon exaggeration.
The Group Embedded Figure Test (GEFT) was employed to classify students as having a field dependent, field neutral, or field independent cognitive style. The purpose for the examination of cognitive style's was to assist in determining if the exaggeration of cartoons would positively affect the performance of field dependent students.
The dependent variable was a written immediate test of 30 problems. The data were analyzed using two-way Analysis of Variance. All hypotheses of this study were rejected, and no significant differences in the main effects and no interaction between the independent variables were indicated. The study did not support the suggestion of Hunter, Moore, and Sewell (1990), and the results indicated that field dependence did not benefit from exaggeration in the cartoons to be used as salient cues to maximize their learning.
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