The effect of verbal rehearsal on the incidental learning of mentally retarded children

Gamache, Robert Francis, Department of Education, University of Virginia
Callahan, Carolyn, Cu-Curr Instr & Sp Ed, University of Virginia
Kauffman, James, Cu-Curr Instr & Sp Ed, University of Virginia

Noninstitutionalized, mentally retarded children were compared with normal chronological controls on a central incidental task. Normal controls were tested according to the traditional selective attention paradigm. Half the mentally retarded subjects were trained on one set of stimuli and then tested on a second set; the other half were trained and tested on the same set of stimuli. Each group was further divided according to the presence or absence of incidental stimuli. Verbal rehearsal of central stimuli resulted in central, incidental, and selective attention scores comparable to the normal controls. There were no incidental and selective attention performance differences between subjects trained and tested on the same or different stimuli nor between subjects trained with incidental stimuli present or absent. The results are discussed in terms of Neisser's selective attention theory.

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PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
Children with mental disabilities, Attention
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