The effect of temporal order structure and cog nitive content variables on understanding the instructional sentences of ordering syllogisms were studied in three experiments. In each experiment, 5 and 6 years old children participated in a task to solve 32 spatial ordering linear syllogisms containing the relation words: “in front of” and “behind”. The present author thought that the task-structure of syllogisms was composed of such two factors, as the type of relational inference and the direction of relational operation, and used those tasks as experimental tasks. Two types of sentences that had almost the same meaning but different grammatical structure, especially in temporal order position of relation words, were used. The main findings were as follows. (1) Such a sentence that the subject of the second prose was the logical actor, or that relational operation of both proses were based on the same anchor point but were different in direction, were understood easily (in Exp. I). (2) In spite of having grammatical complexity, such a type of sentence with a relation word appearing early was easily understood (in Exp. II). (3) It was difficult, for Ss who had low ability to grasp the relatedness of visual image, to understand the syllogisms task containing relational operations based on the different anchor point (in Exp. III). These findings suggested that comprehensibility of these relational statements did not depend on the grammatical complexity of the sentence but on the content of sentence preparing cognitive framework that made Ss easily create a whole image of arrangements. Finally, from these findings and suggestions, it was proposed that the processes of understanding these relational statements consisted of the following subprocesses: on hearing the first prose Ss create a spatial image based on relational operations, then when Ss hear the second prose, they use the spatial image as a cognitive framework to create a whole image. Based on these two processes, Ss understand the meaning of the whole sentence.
The present experiment was designed,(1) to clarify the functional characteristics of vicarious self reinforcement comparing with the function of vicarious external reinforcement, and (2) to estimate the relative effect of modeled performance level and modeled vicarious reinforcement patterns to the performances and self evaluative pattern of observers. The subject were 86 boys and 72 girls, ranging in age from 10 years 5 months to 11 and half years, drown from 5 classes in 5th grade in a public primary school. Model was a 19 years old female undergraduate, and experimenter was a 23-year old male graduate. So as to equalize the task abilities in each experimental and each control groups, the figurenumber substitution task was first administered to all subjects in classroom settings. Then, model and/or each subject was administered three trials of simple arithmetic calculation based upon figurenumber substitution (e. g. _??_) in a booklet. 18 calculation problems were printed, for each trials, Model and subject were given 50 sec. to resolve the problems and 30 sec. inter-trial intervals to rest and to evaluate one's performance. The self evaluation of each subject was measured on the 3 point-graphic scale (not enough, nough, highly enough) after each trial. A 2×2×2×2 factorial design was employed. Half of the experimental children observed high performance model, and half were exposed to low performance model. In both conditions, half the children observed vicarious reward. While the remaining children in each group witnessed vicarious punishments. In addition, each group was further divided into external (reinforcement was administered by experimenter) or internal (model's self reinforcement) control condition. In high performance condition, model performed 10 problems, and in low performance condition, model performed 6 or 7 problems in each trial. These scores were determined based upon the performance level of no-model control group (Mean=8.25, SD=1.87) of 39 subjects. In reward condition, model or experimenter evaluated model's performance as highly enough, and in punishment condition, they devaluated model's performance as not enough. The main results were p resented in FIG. 1. 2. 3. Analysis of variance performed on over-all self evaluation scores disclosed that highly significant effects were produced by the vicarious reward punishment (F=52.85, P<0.001), and not produced by the other variables. So, vicarious self reinforcement and vicarious external reinforcement were found to be equally efficacious in the modification of self evaluative behavior of observers. Children who obsarved model's self punishment raised significantly their evaluation more affirmatively from first trial to third trial.(t=3.16, P<0.01) But children who observed model receive external punishment did not altered their evaluative standard. So we consider that there should be subtle but important differences between the informative functions of vicarious self reinforcement and vicarious external reinforcement. Vicarious self reinforcement may transmit the self-monitoring flexible self reinforcement pattern, while vicarious external reinforcement, may transmit other-oriented inflexible self reinforcement pattern. Analysis of variance on performance scores revealed that any independent variables we introduced did not produce significant differences.
In their play, children often use some objects to designate and replace others. We call such use of objects “symbolic use”, the objects “signifiers” and the designated objects “signified”. The purpose of the present study is to examine: (1) the role of play activities in symbolic use,(2) the developmental change of symbolic use. 64 nursery school children, aged from 3 to 6, took part in these three experiments. Experiment I (outside of play 1) 8 objects are presented one by one and each S is asked whether the object (signifier) can be used or not as a certain suggested object (signified). Experiment II (outside of play 2) Each S is told a fairy tale and presented some figures (signifier) representing, in varying degrees of similarity, the characters (signified) in the story. The S is then asked to choose which figure he sees as representing the character in the story. Experiment III (inside of play) The same objects, as in the Experiment I, are presented in the role-taking-play whith a certain suggested theme. Each S is observed to see if he can actually use the object as a certain suggested object as in the Experiment I. Comparing the results in the Experiment I and III, inside of play (Experiment III), we may infer that “symbolic use” is easier than outside of play (Experiment I).“Symbolic use” can be achieved inside of play so long as the objects can support the same activities as the signified objects, regardless of the dissimilarity of the object to the “signified”. Outside of play, however,“symbolic use” is more difficult, especially with objects which are distinctly different from that “signified”. These results suggest that actual symbolic use may facilitate symbolic function in children. Concerning the development of symbolic use, cases inside of play are more observed in the older age group than in the younger, and cases outside of play are more often recorded in the younger than in the older age group. In the former type of “symbolic use”, the object and its “signified” are joined by play activities, regardless of the difference between them therefore, children in the older age group who have the former experience of play activities and play themes make this type of “symbolic use”, more readily than the younger. On the other hand, in the latter type of “symbolic use,” the object and its “signfied” are joined in their similarities. Then the older children who can discriminate strictly the difference between the two make this type less readily than the younger. In conclusion, we may infer that among these two types of “symbolic use”,“symbolic use” inside of play might be the main road of development of symbolic function in children, leading to the level of “sign” where the “signifier” sharply differs from its “signified”.