|The relationship between visual memory for designs and early reading achievement|
Edna Borg Froehlich
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Tags: Ability testing, Perception, reading, Reading, Psychology of
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN VISUAL MEMORY FOR DESIGNS AND EARLY READING ACHIEVEMENT
Edna Borg Froehlich
The primary purpose of this investigation was to study the relationship between visual memory for designs having components of form, orientation, and sequence and early reading achievement. Short-term and intermediate memory were examined in relation to word recognition and comprehension in first grade pupils. The influence of intelligence on these relationships was studied. The study also examined the interrelationships among the components in each type of memory and their differential relationships with reading achievement. In addition, the relationships between short-term and intermediate memory were explored.
The subjects were 128 boys and girls, the total first grade public school enrollment in a white, middle-class suburban community.
The Memory for Designs Tests: Short-term and Intermediate were constructed and refined, through pilot studies, to measure the ability to form and retain visual images of designs for recognition in multiple-choice items. Components of form, orientation and sequence were included in three equal subtests. On each of two consecutive days, 24 designs or combinations of designs were visually presented for 15 seconds each to class groups. Recognition was tested for (1) short-term retention of single items made up of designs for 15 seconds and (2) intermediate retention of 24 items made up of designs for approximately 30 minutes. Reliability estimates of .82 for the Memory for Designs Test: Short-term and .89 for the Memory for Designs Test: Intermediate were obtained from equivalent test halves administered on consecutive days and corrected by the Spearman-Brown Prophecy Formula.
The Gates-MacGinitie Reading Tests: Vocabulary and Comprehension and the Lorge-Thorndike Intelligence Test were also administered as group tests to all subjects.
The data were analyzed through means and standard deviations of total scores and subtest scores and through correlation and partial correlation procedures.
The results indicated that short-term memory for designs was significantly related to both word recognition and comprehension. Intermediate memory for designs showed higher significant relationships to both word recognition and comprehension. When intelligence was held constant, all of these relationships retained significance.
The findings suggested that the longer retention interval and greater number of designs to be remembered in the intermediate measure tended to increase the extent of the relationship with reading achievement. The somewhat low correlations between short-term memory and reading achievement might have been depressed by the limited range of scores in the short-term measure. Each type of memory was related to about the same extent to word recognition as to comprehension suggesting that these aspects of reading have in common some process which is associated with visual memory.
The components showed considerably higher inter-correlations within the intermediate memory test than within the short-term memory test, suggesting that the intermediate test measured a more unitary type of memory. Significant correlations were found between all of the components in both types of memory and both word recognition and comprehension. No pattern of differential relationships was shown in the short-term or intermediate memory subtest correlations with reading achievement.
A marked relationship was found between short-term and intermediate memory. However, significant partial correlations, with short-term memory held constant, indicated that the relationships between intermediate memory and reading achievement could not be attributed to any great extent to short-term memory.
The relationships found between visual memory and early reading achievement seemed meaningful for education in view of the negligible effect of intelligence, the homogeneity of the subjects, and the stability of the memory measures containing no verbal material or copying to distort the relationships.