THE RELATIONSHIP OF FIELD INDEPENDENCE - DEPENDENCE AND FIXITY-MOBILITY TO DIVERGENT PRODUCTION

STANLEY BURT FRIEDLAND, Fordham University

Abstract

The study sought to integrate three psychological domains represented by H. Werner, H. A. Witkin, and J. P. Guilford. It was thought that while each domain contained its own vocabulary and research efforts, all are conceptually similar. The study utilized different measures reflective of the separate ideational thrusts of Werner, Witkin, and Guilford in an effort to join the various conceptual themes. Werner, from his orthogenetic developmental perspective, Witkin, from his perceptual orientation, and Guilford, from his cognitive viewpoint, are all conceptually involved with the capabilities and competencies of advanced developmental levels of which people are mobile, fluent, and flexible. Werner and Witkin's conceptions of mature, integrative cognitive functioning, i.e., hierarchic integration and mobility, are conceptually similar to Guilford's descriptions of fluency and flexibility and divergent production.^ Eleven measures were used in the study. The Rod and Frame Test and the Embedded Figures Test measured field independence-dependence. The Stroop test and two adaptations of the Necker cube reversible figure task measured fixity-mobility. The Consequences, Utility, and Match Problems V tests measured the divergent production factors of ideational fluency, originality, spontaneous flexibility, and adaptive flexibility. Math and Verbal SAT scores served as covariates. 103 subjects participated in the research. All were white male undergraduates between the ages of 17 and 24 attending Fordham University. Subjects were tested individually and administered the measures in random order.^ The data were analyzed via intercorrelations, factor analyses, and analyses of variance and covariance. Results indicated some support for the integration of the different psychological domains. Significant differences were found between field independent and field dependent subjects on the divergent production measures of adaptive flexibility and ideational fluency. Differences between field independent and field dependent subjects on the other divergent production measures were not found.^ The conceptual integration of the different approaches of Werner, Witkin, and Guilford received important support from the finding of a factor incorporating field independence-dependence, adaptive flexibility, and SAT Math scores. The concept of cognitive restructuring helped explain the diversity of measures found in this factor.^ Surprisingly, significant differences between mobile and immobile subjects on the divergent production measures were not found. It was discussed that a problem with existing measures of fixity-mobility is that while they measure mobility or lack of mobility between different developmental levels, this mobility is not in terms of field independence-dependence. In addition, the results indicated that the Necker cube task and the Stroop test are not interchangeable measures of fixity-mobility and that it is likely that, of the two, the Necker task is a more useful measure of fixity-mobility. ^

Subject Area

Experimental psychology

Recommended Citation

FRIEDLAND, STANLEY BURT, "THE RELATIONSHIP OF FIELD INDEPENDENCE - DEPENDENCE AND FIXITY-MOBILITY TO DIVERGENT PRODUCTION" (1981). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8123545.
https://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8123545

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