Showing posts with label Educational Psychology. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Educational Psychology. Show all posts

Tuesday 14 March 2017

"Correlational Research and Its Characteristics"; "Coefficient Correlation and Its Types"

If you are involved in educational statistics, you must be interested to know about the Correlational Research. The present article will help you understand the following: What is Correlational Research? Where is the Correlational Research applied? What are the Advantages of Correlational Research? What are the Limitations of Correlational Research? What is Coefficient Correlation? What are the Types of Coefficient Correlation ("Positive Correlation", "Negative Correlation", "No Correlation", and "Perfect Correlation")?

What is Correlational Research and its Characteristics?

Correlational Research
Correlational Research is a non-experimental research method. In this research method, there is no manipulation of an independent variable. 

In correlational research, the researcher studies the relationship between one or more quantitative independent variables and one or more quantitative dependent variables. In other words, it can be said that in correlational research, the independent and dependent variables are quantitative.

It is important to stress that correlations refer to measures of association and do not necessarily indicate causal relationships between variables.

Mouly puts it like this: “The correlation simply implies concomitance; it is not synonymous with causation. It may suggest causation in the same sense that the variables involved are part of a cause and effect system, but the nature of the system and the direction in which the components operate is not specified in the correlation. The two variables are not necessarily (or perhaps even commonly) the cause and effect of each other. The correlation between X and Y is often nothing more than the reflection of the operation of a third factor.”

When Correlational Research is appropriate:

Correlational research is appropriate in the following two instances:

First, it is appropriate when there is need to discover or clarify relationships and where correlation coefficients will achieve these ends. It is especially useful in this connection in the initial stages of a project where a certain amount of basic groundwork has to be covered to get some idea of the structure of relationships. In this way, it gets at degrees of relationships which may become a source of hypotheses and further research.

The correlational approach is also valuable when variables are complex and do not lend themselves therefore to the experimental method and controlled manipulation. It also permits the measurement of several variables and their relationships simultaneously in realistic settings.

Second, correlational research is appropriate where objective, or one of a set of objectives, is to achieve some degree of prediction. (prediction studies are appropriate where a firm basis of previous knowledge is present, the assumption being that at least some of the factors will relate to the behavior to be predicted).

Advantages of Correlational Research:

Correlational research is particularly useful in tackling the problems of education and social sciences because it allows for the measurement of a number of variables and their relationships simultaneously.

The experimental approach, by contrast, is characterized by the manipulation of a single variable and is thus appropriate for dealing with problems where simple causal relationship exist.

In educational and behavioral research, it is invariably the case that a number of variables contribute to a particular outcome. Experimental research thus introduces a note of unreality into research, whereas correlational approaches, while less rigorous, allow for the study of behavior in more realistic settings.

Correlational research yields information concerning the degree of relationship between the variables being studied. It thus provides the researcher with insights into the way variables operate that cannot be gained by other means.

Limitations of Correlational Research:

Correlational research only identifies what goes with what—it only implies concomitance and therefore does not necessarily establish cause-and-effect relationships.

It is less rigorous than the experimental approach because it exercises less control over the independent variables. It is prone to identify spurious relation patterns. It adopts an atomistic approach.

What is the value of the Correlation Coefficient ("r")?

Correlation Coefficient

To understand how to study the relationship between two variables when both are quantitative, one needs a basic understanding of a correlation coefficient.

Correlation is the relationship between two or more paired variables or two or more sets of data. The degree of relationship is measured and represented by the coefficient of correlation.

It is a numerical index that provides information about the strength and direction of the relationship between two variables. It provides information about how two variables are associated.

More specifically, a correlation coefficient is a number that can range from -1 to 1, with zero standing for no correlation at all.

Positive Correlation:

If the number is greater than zero, there is a positive correlation. (A positive correlation is present when scores on two variables tend to move in the same direction).

Negative Correlation:

If the number is less than zero, there is a negative correlation. (A negative correlation is present when scores on two variables tend to move in opposite directions—as one variable goes up, the other tends to go down and vice versa)

No Correlation:

If the number is equal to zero, then there is no correlation between the two variables being correlated.

Perfect Correlation:

If the number is equal to +1 or equal to -1, the correlation is called perfect; that is, it is as strong as possible.

Data analysis for Correlation Research:

Sunday 12 March 2017

Theories of Forgetting: Distortion, Repression, Retroactive and Proactive Inhibition

One question comes to our mind, and that is, why do we forget things or experiences. 
In order to answer this question, there are several possible explanations of what is involved in forgetting. Each of these might have important instructional implications.

Theories of Forgetting
Theories of Forgetting


Fading theory holds that material not brought to mind frequently enough (not used) tends to fade from memory.

What is forgetting?

It is the cessation of a response as a function of the passage of time, not to be confused with extinction.

What is fading theory?

The belief that the inability to recall long-term memories increases with the passage of time as memory traces face. It is also known as decay theory.

Many psychologists do not consider fading theory (also called decay theory) very useful or informative. They argue that time, by itself, does not cause forgetting any more than it causes metal to rust or mountains to erode.

Theory of Decay
Theory of Decay

Educational Implication:

If students forget information because of disuse, teachers can provide repetition and review to remind them of important items.


Memories that don’t entirely fade are often distorted or confused with other memories. As a result, when a person tries to recall the experience, only fragments of the episode is available, and it becomes impossible to remember how and when the fragments were acquired.

Educational Implications:

One way for teachers to help counter this distortion is to emphasize the most important and distinct (the most memorable) aspects of a situation. Features that are highly distinct will be more easily and more accurately remembered.


There is some evidence that people may forget events that are particularly unpleasant. One explanation for repression is Freud’s belief that unpleasant memories filter into the subconscious mind, where the individual is not aware of them even though they may continue to have a profound effect on the person’s emotional life.

Educational Implication:

Repression theory holds that memories of highly unpleasant (traumatic) events may be unconsciously repressed. Ideally, schools and teachers seldom provide students with experiences so horrendous that they end up being buried in an unconscious place.

What is distortion?

It is one explanation for memory loss. It describes a process where the features of an experience are insufficiently bound together so that the person recollecting the experience cannot easily tell what happened when.

What is repression?

It is a Freudian term for the process by which intensely negative or frightening experiences are lost from conscious memory.

 Retroactive and Proactive Inhibition:

A highly researched theory of forgetting, and one with direct relevance for teachers, states that interference from previous or subsequent learning is an important cause of forgetting.

When previous learning interferes with current recall, proactive inhibition is said to occur; retroactive inhibition takes place when subsequent learning interferes with the recall of previous learning.

For example, teachers often have difficulty remembering the names of new students, especially if they have been teaching for a long time and have known many students with similar names. They confuse old names with new but similar faces. Their old learning interferes with learning something new—hence, proactive inhibition.

Once the teachers have learned the names of all their current students, they sometimes find it difficult to remember the names of students from years past. Now newer learning interferes with the recall of old information—hence, retroactive inhibition.

What is proactive inhibition?

It is the interference of earlier learning with the retention of subsequent learning.

What is retroactive inhibition?

It is the interference with the retention of previously learned material by subsequently learned material.

 Educational Implication:

Among the most important suggestions for countering the effects of interference and increasing the ability to recall information are those involving teaching for transfer (also termed generalization). Transfer (or generalization) refers to the effects of old learning on new learning; transfer can be either positive or negative.

Saturday 11 March 2017

Processes in Long-Term Memory: Rehearsal, Elaboration, and Organization

The functioning of the information processing system (memory model) has a simple goal: to make sense of significant sensation and to organize and store for recall that which is potentially either important or/and interesting, or useful while ignoring or discarding more trivial matters.
Long-Term Memory: Rehearsal, Elaboration, and Organization
Long-Term Memory Process

To achieve this goal, the system uses a variety of processes. Much sensory data that is not attended to (not processed) does not go beyond immediate sensory memory. Paying attention is one of the important activities, or processes, of our information processing system. By this means, information is transferred from sensory to short-term storage.

There are three other basic processes that are involved in remembering. These are: rehearsal, elaboration, and organization.

Friday 10 March 2017

What is the Constructive Nature of Long-Term Memory?

Our long-term memories are seldom exact reproductions of our experiences. In fact, memories change considerably over time. According to Loftus (1979), long-term memories tend to be generative rather than purely reproductive.

Constructive Memory
In the words of Schacter, Norman, and Koutstaal (1998), long-term memory is constructive memory. Essentially, this means that much of what we remember is modified by intervening events and dulled by the passage of time.

What is “Constructive Memory”?

It is an alternate label for long-term memory. It is meant to emphasize the extent to which remembering involves reconstructing experiences. With the passage of time, we tend to remember less and less accurately.

One characteristics of long-term memory (that might explain its constructive nature) is that our memories appear to be scattered in many parts of our brains.
Studies using positron emission tomography or magnetic resonance imaging (imaging techniques that can reveal location and patterns of neural activity in the brain) indicate that there is not just one single memory trace for each item that we remember.
As a result, long-term remembering is a process of retrieving from different brain locations isolated features of the experience we are recalling and putting them together in a sort of pattern-completion process.

Positron Emission Tomography: 

Also referred to as a PET Scan. It is a medical diagnostic technique and research tool that can be used to provide computer-enhanced images of body structures and of neurological functioning. It is a power tool for brain and memory research.

 Magnetic Resonance Imaging: 

Popularly referred to as MRI. It is a powerful medical diagnostic tool that makes use of computer-enhanced images of magnetic fields in the body to reveal details about physical and neurological structure and functioning. It is highly useful for brain and memory research.

Influences on Long-Term Memory:

Not all of our long-term memories are subject to distortions and inventions. Highly significant emotional experiences sometimes give rise to long-lasting and remarkably detailed flashbulb memories.

What is "Flashbulb Memory"?

It is unusually vivid and relatively permanent recollections of the details surrounding first hearing some emotionally significant news.

What is "Eidetic Image"?

It is a particularly vivid type of visual image in memory. In many ways, it is as though the individual were actually able to look at what is being remembered—hence the synonym photographic memory.

Thursday 9 March 2017

What is “Personality”?

Concept and Nature of Personality:

If we talk ordinarily, the term “personality” refers to the impressions which an individual makes on others. Personality is used to mean the configuration of individual characteristics and ways of behaving which determine an individual’s unique adjustment to his environment.

Thus, any description of an individual’s personality must into account his appearance, abilities, motives, emotional reactions, his values and attitudes and his distinctive traits (or characteristics).

If we talk about psychologists’ point of view, they, while defining personality, employ indispensable ideas of integration and uniqueness. Personality invariably signifies the functioning of the whole person and the unique organization of the individual that distinguishes him from his fellows.

Sunday 5 March 2017

The Modal Model of Memory: Sensory, Short-term, and Long-term Memory

It is the most widely used model of information processing. It is essential a model of human memory. This model is first proposed by Richard Atkinson and Richard Shiffrin in the year 1968. The model is also known as modal model of memory” or multi-store model.

The modal model of memory makes an important distinction between two types of information storage (i.e. memory). These are: short-term memory (also called working memory), and long-term memoryIn some versions of the model, a third memory component is included and that is short-term sensory storage (which is also called sensory memory). Altogether, there are three separate components of human memory asserted by this model. 

Modal model of memory

Distinctions among the three types of storage are concerned mainly with the nature and extent of the processing that information undergoes.

Processing refers to activities such as paying attention, organizing, analyzing, synthesizing, and rehearsing.

Also, the three types of storage differ in their capacity and in the extent to which their contents are accessible.

This basic information processing model of cognitive psychology does two related things: First, it provides us with an overall model of human memory. Second, it addresses various learning-related questions that are critically important for teachers—questions concerning how information is organized and sorted, which teaching and learning methods can facilitate information processing, and how memory can be improved.

Sensory Memory:

Our sensory systems (vision, hearing, taste, touch, smell) are sensitive to an overwhelmingly wide range of stimulation. However, they respond only to a fraction of all available stimulation at any given time; the bulk of the information available in this stimulation is never actually processed—that is, it never actually becomes part of our cognitive structure.

Sensory memory is the label used to describe the immediate unconscious effects of stimulation. Sensory memory is highly limited, both in terms of the length of time during which stimulus information is available for processing and in the absolute amount of information available. In other words, sensory memory is no more than the immediate sensory effect of a stimulus.

Much of the stimulation to which we are not actually paying attention is nevertheless available for processing for perhaps a fraction of a second.

For example, if you are engaged in a conversation with someone in a crowded room, you might be totally unaware of what is being said in any other conversation. But if the topic in one of these other conversations turns to something that passionately interests you, you suddenly become aware of what you would not otherwise have heart. This occurrence is labeled the cocktail party phenomenon.

Short-Term Memory:

Sensory memory precedes attention; it is simply the effect of a stimulus before you pay attention to it. When you attend to a stimulus (in other words, you become conscious of it), it passes into short-term memory.

Short-term memory consists of what is in our immediate consciousness at any given time. It is a sort of scratch pad for thinking; for this reason, short-term memory is often called working memory.

One of the important characteristics of short-term memory is that it is highly limited in capacity. Its average capacity is about seven separate items (plus or minus two); that is, our immediate conscious awareness is limited to this capacity, and as additional items of information come in, they push out some that are already there.

Short-term memory lasts a matter of seconds (not minutes, hours, or days). It appears to be highly dependent or rehearsal. That is, for items to be maintained in short-term storage, they must be repeated. In the absence of repetition, they quickly fade, usually before 20 seconds have elapsed.

Approaches to Human Learning: Behaviorism, Cognitivism, Humanism

Approaches to Learning: Behaviorism, Cognitivism, Humanism
Approaches to Learning
As we have already seen the definition of learning in the previous article, here we are going to discuss the various approaches to human learning. These are as follows: 


This is one of the first scientific approaches to understanding learning that looks at actual behavior. This approach, known as behaviorism, begins by trying to explain simple behaviors—observable and predictable responses.

Principles of Child Development

Principles of Child Development

The process of development is wide, complex and continuous. Therefore, one has to follow some of its principles in order to understand it (development). Some of the principles are the following:

Principle of Continuity: 

Development follows continuity. It goes from womb to tomb and never ceases. An individual starting his life from a tiny cell develops his body, mind and other aspects of his personality though a continuous stream of development.

Principle of Uniform Pattern

Growth and Development

We are aware of the fact that human life begins from a single fertilized cell. Regular and constant interaction with the environment results in the growth and development of innate capacities, abilities and potentialities of a child. Let’s understand first what the growth and the development mean.

Child Development: Growth and Development


It means the growth of different parts of human body. It refers to quantitative changes in size which include physical changes in height, weight, size, internal organs, etc. The physical growth affects our behavior and vice versa. Therefore, in the simplest form, growth can be defined as body, shape and growth in weight; it also includes growth of muscles. For example, during infancy and childhood, the body of a person steadily becomes larger, taller and heavier. It is “growth”.


It refers to the various qualitative changes which take place simultaneously with quantitative changes of growth, for example, social changes, emotional changes, etc. Development may be defined as a “progressive” series of “orderly and coherent” changes. The term progressive denotes that changes are directional; they lead forward rather than backward. Terms such as orderly and coherent suggest that there is a definite relationship between the changes taking place and those that precede or will follow them.

Thus, development represents changes in an organism from its origin to its death. It is the series of overall changes in an individual due to the emergence of modified structures and functions that are the outcome of the interaction and exchange between the organism and its environment.

Difference between growth and development:

It is used in purely physical sense. Changes in the quantitative aspects come under the domain of growth. For example, an increase in size, length, height, and weight.
It indicates changes in the quality or character rather than in quantitative aspects.
The changes produced by growth are the subject of measurement. They may be quantified and are observable.
It brings qualitative changes which are difficult to be measured. They are assessed through keen observation.
Growth may or may not bring development. A child may grow in terms of weight but this growth may or may not bring any functional improvement (qualitative changes or development)
Development is also possible without growth as we have seen in the cases of some children that they do not gain in terms of height, weight, or size, but they do experience functional improvement or development.
Growth is one of the parts of development process.
Development is a wider and comprehensive term. It refers to overall changes in individual. Growth is one of its parts.
Growth does not continue throughout life. It stops when maturity has been attained.
Development is a continuous process. It goes from the womb to tomb. It does not end with the attainment of maturity.

Stages of growth and development

Name of stages
Period and Approximate Age
1.       Pre-natal (pre-birth) Stage
From conception to birth
2.      Stage of Infancy
From birth to two years
3.      Childhood Stage

(a)  Early Childhood
(b)  Later Childhood
From 3rd to 12 years or up to the onset of puberty.
From 3rd to 5 years
From 6 to 12 years
4.      Adolescent Stage
From the onset of puberty to the age of maturity (generally, 12-19 years)
5.      Adulthood
From 20 years and beyond.

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Saturday 4 March 2017

Lev. S. Vygotsky: Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD)

The Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) is the concept given by the Russian psychologist, Lev. S. Vygotsky (1896-1934). Vygotsky was famous for his theory of Socio-Cultural Development. According to him, development takes place primarily through interaction with one’s culture.

Lev. S. Vygotsky (1896-1934)
Lev.S. Vygotsky

In a layman’s term, ZPD is defined as the difference between what a learner can do without help and what he/she can do with help or assistance. It is an area of learning that takes place when a student is given assistance (also called Scaffolding) by a teacher or 
more skilled peer. In other words, the ZPD is the gap between the actual competence level and the potential development level.

Actual competence refers to what problem level a student or an individual is able to solve independently, whereas potential development level refers to what problem level a student or an individual could solve with the help of a teacher.

Developmental Stages: Erik Erikson

Erik Erikson
Erik Erikson

Developmental Stages:

Gender is one very important aspect of our personality. But personality is much more than our notions of being male or female together with related attitudes and interests. It includes all of the abilities, predispositions, habits, and other qualities that make each of us different from every other person.

Scope of Educational Psychology

Scope of Educational Psychology:

There are three aspects of education that concern the educational psychologists (those who are experts in the field of educational psychology). These are:
1.      Learner
2.      Learning Process
3.      Learning Situation


Learner means the children or students collectively comprise the classroom group. The learner is the central theme in educational psychology. What happens in the classroom can be explained in terms of personalities, developmental stages, adjustment, and psycho-social problems of students, individual differences in psycho-motor abilities, and cognitive ability.

Learning Process: 

What goes on when people learn is terms as “learning process”. The teacher teaches and the children may learn. Sometimes, the teacher teaches a subject but the children learn something else. Sometimes, the teacher may not teach something, but the children may learn it. The educational psychologies is interest in what happens when a child learns, why he learns what teachers want him to learn, and why he learns what teachers do not want him to learn.

Learning Situation: 

It refers to those factors or conditions that affect the learner and the learning process. For example, classroom settings, attitude and behavior of the teacher, emotional climate of the school, and so on are some of the significant factors that affect the learner and the learning process. 

Aims of Educational Psychology [Click Here]