Developmental study of the acquisition and utilization of conceptual strategies

James D. McKinney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Tested the effects of instruction in 2 formally different strategies on conjunctive concept attainment and problem-solving efficiency at 2 developmental levels. A total of 90 educable retarded 9-11 yr. olds with MAs of 5-6 and 7-8 yr. served as Ss. Treatments consisted of instruction in conservative focusing, successive scanning, or no instruction. It was found that with the 5-7 MA level, training in focusing failed to facilitate performance; scanning instruction increased problem-solving efficiency but did not facilitate concept attainment. At the 7-8 MA level, instruction in both strategies facilitated performance, although focusing was more effective than scanning. Results indicate that the acquisition of complex cognitive operations in young children is a function of both the logical structure and informational demands of the task. (24 ref.) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22-31
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Educational Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 1972


  • 7-8 yr
  • conjunctive concept attainment &
  • problem-solving efficiency, conservative focusing &
  • successive scanning instruction, educable retardates with MAs of 5-6 &

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Education


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