Various researches have been conducted about the retaining of the interrupted task, since the Zeigarnik's pioneer experimental research, but these results are not always consistent. The present research was schemed by operating three important factors with the intention of resolving these inconsistencies and offerring further informations ; (a) strength and weakness of the stress in the situation, (b) completion and incompletion of the task, (c) success and failure of the task. The procedure was as follows. The experimental situation was consisted of the stress situation (competition) and the non-stress situation (coöperation). C-S group (completion=success, incompletion=failure) and C-F group (completion=failure, incompletion=success) were set up under each situation. The tasks used consisted of 16 kinds of task including both types of the paper-and pencil task and the operational task. Of 16 tasks, the half were completed, but the remainder incompleted. The experiment was performed in an individual unit for a pair of two school children. Then, the recall of each group was compared. The results were as follows. 1) In the stress situation, both groups consistently showed significant preponderance of the recall of the succeeded tasks. On the other hand, both groups in thenon-stress situation adversely showed a preponderance of the recall of the failed tasks, but the difference was not statistically significant in C-F group. 2) In comparing C-S group with C-F group in the stress situation, there was a significant variation in the recall of the incompleted tasks, and a significant variation in the recall of the completed tasks was found in the non-stress situation. 3) In comparing between situations, C-S group significantly decreased the recall of the completed tasks and significantly increased the recall of the incompleted tasks with increase of tne stress. On the other hand, C-F group significantly increased the recall of the incompleted tasks and tended to decrease the recall of the completed tasks. These facts may indicate that (1) ego-defensive reaction is evidently preponderant in the stress situation and the concept of repression is possible to be introduced, and (2) in the non-stress situation, the interrupted effect said so far is a side of facts and the consideration at a point of whole view is needful. It is particularly suggested that the goal is more general one than only completion of the task and the tension is not always specific to a specific task.
Several experments were performed to test Postman and Phillips's interpretation in conjunction with the isolation-effect under conditions of intentional and incidental learning. Stimulus lists consisting of two types of items occurring with equal frequency were presented to Ss by “successive ppesentation method” in Exps. IA, IB, and by “simultaneous presentation method” in Exps. IIA, IIB, and IIIA, IIIB, IIIC, IIID. Each list has eighteen items. In the lists for- experimental groups, items No. 5 and No. 14 were isolated. Control groups were given lists in which two types of items were put alternatively. In Exps. IA and IIA, the lists consisted of nonsense syllables and three-digit numbers, and in Exp. IIIA, nonsense syllables and meaningful words. The same materials as in Exps. IA and IIA were used in Exps. IB and IIB, but a color difference was added to increase the degree of perceptual isolation of items No. 5 and No. 14 in experimental group's lists. The difference of Exp. IIIA from IIIB was the same, viz. a color difference in IIIB. In the lists of Exp. IIIC, all items were nonsense syllables, while in Exp.IIID, all were meaningful words, and in each items No. 5 and No. 14 of experimental group's lists were isolated by means of color difference only. 30 secs. after once presenting the lists, free recall test was conducted for 3 minutes. The major findings were as follows : 1. There were significant effects of isolation on item No. 5 under intentional learning in Exps. IA, IB and IIA, lIB, but not under incidental learning. The fact that there was no evidence for superior recall of the isolated items under both conditions of learning in Exps. IIIC and IIID indicates that mere perceptual isolation produced by color difference does not serve to increase recall frequency under the present experimental procedure. 2. There were no significant differences between Exps. IA and IB, IIA and IIB, IIIA and IIIB on the numbers of recalling isolated items under intentional and incidental learning. The addition of color difference neither aided isolation-effect nor interfered with it. All of these results can be adequately accounted for in terms of Gibson's interference theory. The present writer supports Postman and Phillips's interbretation that isolation favors retention only to the extent that the stimulus features producing isolation are relevant to the learner's task.
Problem : Many behavioral factors are operating simultaneously through the learning process-not only in acquisition period but in extinction one. Up to this time, a few factorial studies have been carried out with regard to the animal performance in acquisition process. And such studies have contributed, in certain degree, to clarifying the nature of acquisition, although the factors thus far isolated need further examination. To the contrary, no such factor-analytical techniques have been applied to the animal performance in extiction Process. According to the authgr's viewpoint, it is quite necessary for us to isolate and identify primary factors operating in the extinction process, before we out to make an experimental approach to the problem of extinction as an important behavioral phenomenon. The present study was designed as a preliminary attempt to isolate primary factors and specify the course of their rise and wane during both acquisition and extinction processes by applying the factorial technique to the experimentally obtained data. Experument I : Twenty-five white rats were used as Ss. A Skinner box was used as an apparatus. Each rat was allowed to make thirty continuously reinforced lever-pressing responses in acquisition period. Ten minutes with no response was viewed ls the criterion of complete extinction. The entire period of acquisition was divided into six sub-periods with equal number of lever-pressing responses, and the entire period of extinction was divided after the Vincent's method into five sub-periods. The time required for each sub-period was used as the measure. From the intercorrelation matrix obtained between the sub-periods of both acquisition and extinction processes, four centroid factors were extracted and rotated for simple structure. Then, being based upon the pattern of rise and wane of each factor, a tentative interpretation of these factors was made. They were considered as something like the following factors : (a) “relevant reaction potential”, (b) “reaction potential” influenced directly by food-incentive, (c) “cognitive or learning”, and (d) “emotional adaptability”. Experiments II and III : Now, a new question came forth whether these factors as well as the pattern of their rise and wane were unique for this experiment or common to all experimental data of such kind. In order to answer this question, the similar analyzing procedure was carried out about the two sets of other experimental data which had been obtained by other investigators. In these experiments were used ten-unit maze and simple T-maze respectively as the apparatus. According to the results of the analysis for the Experiment II, a factor slightly different from something.like “irrelevant reaction potential” was isolated. Nevertheless, the general pattern of the rise and wane of the factors in these data was fairly similar. Finally, some problems to be inquired further, i. e., the problems of verification of factors and of measures were discussed.
Some experiments of transposition of size discrimination learning in human infants and rats were made to test whether the results were in accord with Spence's theory. In Exp. I, subjects were divided into two groups. Group I was, trained to the larger one of the two stimuli and Grgup II was trained to the smaller. Transposition tests were made in the positive direction, in the negative direction, and in the stimulus pairs which were made by combining the two stimuli which were located on both sides of the training stimuli. The results were compared with the conclusion deduced from Spence's theoretical generalization curves. 1) In the group trained to the larger, both infants and rats showed high percentage of relative responses in every transposition test. From Spence's theory it was deduced that some absolute responses should be made in the tests of the positive direction. So the results did not strictly accord with this inference. 2) In the group trained to the smaller both infants and rats showed very low percentage of relative responses in the tests of the positive direction. This accorded with the results of Spence's experiments in chimpanzees And with the inference from his theory. But, in the tests of stimulus pairs made by combining the two stimuli which were located on both sides of the training stimuli, infants showed chance score. Spence's theory is unable to account for this result. 3) Since in infants, the low percentage of the relative responses is due to the increase of absolute responses, the consideration of these two types of responses will be sufficient. In animals, on the other hand, the position habit, which is a different type of response from the above two, should be taken into consideration. Spence's theory only predicts the low percentage of relative responses in general, hence it can not explain the difference of response-types depending upon the individual subject or species. In Exp. II, the proportion of areas of stimuli was increased and whether, in rats, the absolute response was made or not was examined. 4) when subjects were trained to the larger of the stimuli they skowed very high percentage of relative responses. But, when they were trained to the smaller, most of all the animals showed the position habit. That is, in the transposition of size discrimination learning at least, rats do not make the absolute response, while the fact that infants make absolute response in such a situation is well known. Spence's theory can not explain the difference between these two species. It should be concluded that Spence's theory can not explain strictly the transposition behavior of infants and rats as dealt with in the present study. However, whether this is due to the intrinsic defect in his theory or can be settled by partial correction, is at issue in the present learning theory so that the writer would not attempt to draw any definite conclusion. As there are so many factors which affect the characteristics of his theoretical curves and which he did not consider, it is no wonder that Spence's theory is not applicable to any particular situation