Object Grouping Strategies by Adults Evaluating a Class Act Research Article
Research Article  |   May 01, 1986
Object Grouping Strategies by Adults
 
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Article Information
Research Article   |   May 01, 1986
Object Grouping Strategies by Adults
Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders, May 1986, Vol. 51, 110-119. doi:10.1044/jshd.5102.110
History: Received October 3, 1985 , Accepted January 23, 1986
 
Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders, May 1986, Vol. 51, 110-119. doi:10.1044/jshd.5102.110
History: Received October 3, 1985; Accepted January 23, 1986

Eighty unimpaired adult subjects were exposed to the iconic-symbolic (I-S) subtest (Muma & Muma, 1979), an instrument designed to provide evidence regarding object grouping processes in clinical populations. I-S instructions and a revised (REV) instruction were employed. Subjects were also asked to provide a rationale statement for each object grouping. The 2,880 rationale statements thus generated were analyzed on the isomorphism between the statements and the object grouping criteria presumed by the I-S test design. Significantly higher isomorphic levels occurred under REV instructions, although fewer than one-half of the REV subjects performed at the cognitive (i.e., symbolic) stage defined and predicted by the I-S protocols. Subjects demonstrated an overwhelming preference for the formation of taxonomic classes rather than for schematic-based object groupings as has been argued by some writers. Analysis of rationale statements strongly suggested that three major strategies were employed by individual subjects in the establishment of object classes: an intensional, an extensional, and a mixed intensional-extensional strategy. It was concluded that (a) adult subjects show a range of classification strategies, (b) those strategies are best described by using something other than an iconic-symbolic dichotomy, and (c) classification tasks devoid of a rationale component may foster incomplete and potentially distorted conclusions concerning grouping abilities and underlying processes.

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