Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




This study was concerned with the possibility of training for conservation. With the component elements held constant across all groups, the effectiveness of two methods of presentation, cognitive conflict and active participation, were tested by a pretest-training-posttest procedure using a 2 x 2 design with a common control group. Within the treatment groups, a conflict presentation of addition-subtraction and perceptual components was contrasted with a non-conflict presentation of the same addition-subtraction and perceptual components, each in a separate series. An active manipulation procedure was contrasted with passive participation. Results indicated that conservation responses increased within the treatment groups significantly more than in the control group, but no significant differences were found among the training procedures. The fact that there was no increase in the vocabulary score from pre- to posttest suggested that the training procedures did not cause an increase in understanding of vocabulary.

Possible reasons for failure to obtain significant differences within the training groups were discussed, and a possible alternative procedure was suggested. In addition, the possibility of using identity-type test questions instead of equality-type questions was considered.