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Transfer, Memory, and Creativity

Transfer, Memory, and Creativity: After-Learning as Perceptual Process

Copyright Date: 1972
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 192
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  • Book Info
    Transfer, Memory, and Creativity
    Book Description:

    Transfer, Memory, and Creativity was first published in 1972. Dr. Haslerud, a psychologist, presents a valuable new theory of the transfer of learning, a theory which provides new insights into a neglected aspect of the psychology of learning. The findings and conclusions of his work have important implications for the problems of education, especially in view of today’s urgent need to improve the results of schooling. Through his concept of after-learning (the learning which takes place after the period of formal learning has ended) as a perceptual process, the author has succeeded in identifying factors or conditions which have tended to limit transfer of learning to boundaries of the literal and to prevent a progression to creative achievement. Dr. Haslerud contends that previous theories of the transfer of learning have been either irrelevant or insusceptible to specific application. With the new theory and its deductions, he points out, all learning can become relevant. Using several new constructs in his theory, Dr. Haslerud spells out the assumptions and definitions of terms which are changed by the perceptual view, supporting them in part by experimental evidence and suggesting ways in which hypotheses which are still provisional may be tested. The book is important for concerned citizens and school and college administrators who are seeking better educational outcomes as well as for educational and other psychologists who research and teaching involves learning theory.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-6282-1
    Subjects: Psychology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-x)
    (pp. vii-x)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. xi-2)
    (pp. 3-13)

    The problem in after-learning is really a duality—how to make available what has been learned, and how to derive new alternatives that were not included in original learning.

    After-learning includes the variety of behaviors in an individual after he has learned something specific to a given level; it can range from immediate memory to changes after graduation with a B.A. degree. The standards for the level required may vary from the just barely learned one perfect recital of a list in Ebbinghaus’s experiments on himself to such high criteria as twenty-four errorless out of twenty-five trials in some of...

    (pp. 14-23)

    We start with the observation that the newborn is not atabula rasabut rather a complex system of ongoing activity. While chemical energies of oxygen and foods must be extracted from the environment to maintain the basic metabolism of the organism, quite as important is the information from the structures of other environmental energies indicating dangers, sources of food and water, and whatever else meets its needs.

    In the past, stimulation was thought of almost exclusively in terms of external energies assaulting the organism. This caused many observers to miss the active dynamic demand and selectivity of these energies...

    (pp. 24-30)

    Those like Melton (1963) who see immediate memory and longtime memory as a continuum with the number of cues necessary for retrieval the only variable neglect the qualitative differences in a here-and-now existence. As far as can be inferred by the behavior of animals, this is the kind of world they live in (except possibly those animals brought into a world of time by specific conditioning with temporal intervals as an additional variable, i.e., in Pavlov’s trace experiments). This here-and-now world is also the one most humans live in the majority of their waking hours.

    Consider the simple problem of...

    (pp. 31-45)

    When the recall response is delayed more than a few seconds after stimulation, the behavior must be reinitiated with retrieval cues. These are given this name because some reduction in randomness of the organism’s contribution to interaction in the Theater of Perception takes place during original learning. When the retrieval cue occurs later, a resemblance to the original perception has been made somewhat probable.

    Ebbinghaus’s savings method (relearning to the same criterion used on the original learning) is a good prototype of the retrieval process. The original number of trials or time measurest the effort to perceive discriminatively the items...

    (pp. 46-56)

    Faculty psychology and its corollary of formal discipline reigned over the academic curriculum during the nineteenth century. To exercise a faculty would increase it and according to the pseudoscience of phrenology would even change the contour of the skull by a bulge in the area ascribed to the particular faculty. For example, the forehead above the eyes was claimed to develop as memory developed. Exponents of the classical curriculum, concerned mainly with the memorization of Greek and Latin authors, insisted that it developed memory, judgment, and many other valuable faculties (Thorndike, 1913).

    The experiments of Thorndike and Woodworth (1901) tested...

    (pp. 57-64)

    Almost from the first the literal theories, like identical elements, met opposition from those who could accept neither their dictum of little transfer nor their avoidance of the higher mental processes when looking for transfer. Judd suggested that Thorndike and his associates ought not to have expected much transfer. “The nature of generalization is such that no simple formula like that of the presence of identical elements is remotely adequate. Generalization is a type of organized mental reaction; it depends on creative synthesis” (Judd, 1932).

    Judd’s experiment with ten-year-old boys throwing darts at a target under shallow water showed that...

    (pp. 65-78)

    How can one transcend his memory and get out of the rut of his practiced associations? A few creative, original individuals have succeeded in doing this from time to time. Their scarcity in any culture has made many conclude that creativity is a “given” ability and that little can be done to teach it. That rigid, unstimulating conditions may retard or even completely inhibit the tendency is generally agreed, but not much has been found to encourage the belief that there can be any positive nurturing.

    Perhaps Terman’s identification of high academic intelligence with genius was a blind alley. He...

    (pp. 79-85)

    Asch (1969) contended that recognition has been misconceived as a type of memory or memory test instead of as a road to memory, its essential character. Recognition, he insists, must antecede associative recall; it is a nonassociative process based on similarity and is quite different from recall proper.

    My perceptual theory agrees with Asch on the importance of recognition but sees it as a factor not only for memory but also for projecscan and even for immediate attention to information from the environment. The new theory differs with him on the value of similarity. The assumption that it is a...

    (pp. 86-91)

    Unlike the teeming biological world of Malthus, all too few alternatives in information are available ordinarily for problem solving, but like Darwinian selection even these few must meet the requirements of a world of logic and relevance or be discarded. Yet skill and competence (White, 1959) also may determine whether any insight or transfer can become manifest. One may have a new idea, e.g., a theme for a novel or a painting, but lack the requisite skill to create it either for himself or for others. And, of course, inability to read at a sophisticated level, or to understand and...

    (pp. 92-98)

    Since projecscan depends on a well-stored Apperceptive Mass, as was outlined in chapter VII, one first must account for the development of memory. Most behavior, as was indicated in chapter III, requires no storage. The reverberations of sensory processes for several seconds in positive and negative afterimages for vision and probably similar perseverations in other sense modalities give enough maintenance of the information during immediate apprehension in the Theater of Perception to allow the production of immediate memory. This misnomer, and its synonym short-term memory, have given rise to the postulation of a continuity from immediate to longtime memory. The...

    (pp. 99-116)

    Each of the preceding chapters has developed an aspect of a new perceptual theory of after-learning. Short-term memory, more permanent memory, transfer, and creative transfer (projecscan) have been integrated by differentiating them from a common source in the organism’s need for information to solve its problems. This chapter presents the formal structure of the theory as developed to date. The next two chapters and the epilogue examine the theoretical and practical implications and deductions of the theory.

    At least five lines of evidence were either unknown or unused as a basis for the theories of pioneer students of transfer like...

    (pp. 117-124)

    A number of issues look very different from the point of view of the new perceptual theory. Some empirical results, apparently inconsistent, can now be understood, e.g., why principles sometimes do and sometimes do not aid creative transfer in a new situation. The theory also simplifies theoretical assumptions which have made such a puzzle of similarity as a factor in transfer. Finally, the embarrassment about the role of attention and consciousness in creative transfer need no longer obstruct a comprehensive theory and practice of after-learning.

    The literature on Judd’s concepts is equivocal on how successfully they have been applied in...

    (pp. 125-136)

    Earlier in this century psychologists like Thorndike, Judd, and Dewey did not hesitate to spell out the educational implications of their theories and experiments. At a symposium held in 1959, however, Dr. Kenneth Spence, overwhelmed by its complexity of factors and difficulty in experimental control, stated that the psychology of learning at its present immature stage had nothing to contribute to education. Dr. Underwood, although recognizing how different laboratory subjects are from classroom learners, concluded that some factors like meaningfulness, intertask and intratask similarity, and active recitation as contrasted with passive study had improved acquisition rate in the laboratory so...

    (pp. 137-149)

    No direct test could probably be made of the supraordinate theory stated in chapter XI as follows: “The perceptual processes operate from the Theater of Perception in the same manner upon both the external world of stimulus energies and the internal world of memory and its variants.” However, questions can be posed and deductions tested from the twelve subhypotheses. Should critical evidence accumulate against any of the subhypotheses, the principal theory and its relation to the weak subhypothesis would have to be examined critically, though it might still stand like a pier that has lost only one of its piles....

    (pp. 150-156)

    With a fresh start interpreting perceptually the phenomena of after-learning, I have proposed a theory that not only integrates the past knowledge in this field, but has growing edges as well. The theory allows specification of the conditions for creative transfer and identifies literal transfer as the blind alley it actually is. Basing the perceptual processes on the need for information to meet the physiological and cognitive requirements of the organism, the theory incorporates motivation into the system without being confounded by it. The theory satisfies the criterion of applicability too. It indicates why no significant projecscan is apt to...

    (pp. 159-166)
  20. INDEX
    (pp. 167-179)