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A Comparative Study of Some Aspects of Cognitive Style in English and West Indian Children.

Wong, Joyce Siu-Ying. (1976) A Comparative Study of Some Aspects of Cognitive Style in English and West Indian Children. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey (United Kingdom)..

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The developing field of cross-cultural psychology has been reviewed, and certain theoretical, methodological and substantive issues have been discussed at some length. Special attention has been paid to a review of studies of cognitive style and psychological differentiation in cross-cultural persepctive, with special attention to the effects of social class and socialization upon the development of psychological differentiation and the associated skills of perceptual disembedding. The influence of particular types of socialization on the development of self-esteem has been discussed, and possible connections between styles of socialization leading to field-dependence and poor self-esteem have been considered. Little work relating self-esteem and psychological differentiation can be discovered in published literature. Data from a study of 10 and 11 year-old pupils in four schools in London and the South East of England have been analysed. The following groups have been compared: white, middle class children; white, working class children; and black (West Indian) children, in the four schools. The test battery included the Children's Embedded Figures Test (Witkin's CEFT), Coopersmith's Self Esteem Inventory; Miller's measure of parental authoritarianism, and child's attitude to school; a measure of social class; sociometric measures; and a test of reading ability. Contrary to hypothesis, self-esteem and the CEFT were not related to one another. Parental authoritarianism was only weakly related to CEFT. However, - parental authoritarianism and poor self-esteem in the child were strongly related. A hypothetical group of children were identified, characterized by field-independence, good reading ability, and middle-class parents who were often absent from the home, and who gave the child much autonomy, but who were not particularly supportive of his activities. A comparison of parental authoritarianism in black and white samples indicated significantly less authoritarianism in the latter group. When social class and parental authoritarianism were controlled, differences in scores on the CEFT between the black and white samples disappeared. Scores of all social class and ethnic groups in the present study on the CEFT were as high, or higher than those previously reported in American and European samples of middle class or non-authoritarian subjects, suggesting specific cultural factors in the British subjects, which influence the development of field independence. In our British subjects reading ability was more strongly related to the CEFT than expected on the basis of previous American work; and expected sex differences in field dependence did not emerge in the British subjects.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors :
Wong, Joyce Siu-Ying.
Date : 1976
Contributors :
Additional Information : Thesis (M.Phil.)--University of Surrey (United Kingdom), 1976.
Depositing User : EPrints Services
Date Deposited : 22 Jun 2018 15:17
Last Modified : 06 Nov 2018 16:54

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