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Durham e-Theses
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Cognitive change and participation in training groups: a personal construct psychology approach to learning in training groups

Paterson, B. (1975) Cognitive change and participation in training groups: a personal construct psychology approach to learning in training groups. Masters thesis, Durham University.



Four training groups were studied. The first called The Field Study was part of a company's training programme and took the form of a one week residential training group. The participants were 26 adults and 6 trainers. The training occurred in three small groups with two trainers each. The remaining three groups called Experimental Training Groups, each comprised 10 students and involved 2 hours per week for 4 weeks with a total participation time of about 10 hours. The field study was used to examine the feasibility of using Personal Construct Psychology to understand and measure cognitive change, and to isolate significant variables which required closer examination. The experimental training groups were conducted in a laboratory setting where the processes could be closely measured by observation and video recording. Specific hypothesis suggested by the field study were examined in detail here. Both processes and outcomes were measured. In the field study the process measures were obtained from trainer ratings of: verbal participation, influence, giving information, and seeking information. In the experimental groups the process measures were obtained from videotape recordings of the interactions coded with Bales' Interaction Process Analysis. Measures of cognitive change were obtained from content and structural analyses of two rating forms of the Repertory Grid. In the first grid, change was the difference between the structure with the individuals constructs before the training group, and the structure with these constructs rerated afterwards. The second grid contained fresh constructs. Personality measures in the experimental groups were obtained using Caine & Foulds Hostility and Direction of Hostility (HDHQ), and a Test of Social Skills derived from Section 2B of California Test of Personality. The aims were: 1. to investigate the impact of the experiences on the cognitions of the participants. 2. to unravel the interaction processes associated with any cognitive changes detected. The importance of cognitive change and its relationship with interaction processes in the group is discussed. The uniformity assumptions were questioned and diversity in individual learning was searched for. Three distinct types of change in the participants' cognitions were identified and described. The natures of the interactions associated with each type are delineated.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1975
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:14 Mar 2014 16:29

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