Date of Award

Spring 1981

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Leslie, Lauren

Second Advisor

Taft, Thomas B.

Third Advisor

Martin, Thomas A.


The study investigated the facilitative effect of instructions to use mental imagery on children of differing age and reading ability while listening to or reading stories. Subjects were selected on the basis of scores received on the vocabulary and reading-comprehension subtests of the Metropolitan Achievement Test and scores on the Otis-Lennon Mental Abilities Test. One hundred and sixty second-, fourth-, and sixth-graders from thirty-nine Milwaukee Public Schools were individually tested. Half of the subjects received imagery instructions before each story, and the other half received regular instructions. Stories were presented in both reading and listening modes to each subject. Reading and listening modes and stories were counterbalanced across subjects. Sixth-grade average, sixth-grade deficit-poor, sixth-grade difference-poor, and fourth-grade average readers were presented stories at the forth-grade readability level controlled for imagery rating and length. Fourth-grade average, fourth-grade deficit-poor, forth-grade difference-poor, and second-grade average readers were presented stories at the second-grade readability level and also controlled for imagery rating and length. Reading comprehension was measured by percentage of propositions recalled during a paraphrase of the story and short-answer questions. The analysis of the data consisted of four analyses of variance, one for each of the two dependent measures at each of the two readability levels. A series of 39 preplanned comparisons were performed. The results showed that imagery instructions were not facilitative on either dependent measure for any group across stories or mode of presentation. However, when stories were analyzed separately, the sixth-grade average readers were facilitated by imagery instructions on one of the stories.



Restricted Access Item

Having trouble?