Salomon, G. (1983) Salomon, G. (1984)
Salomon, G. (1983)
Salomon, G. (1983). The differential investment of mental effort in learning from different sources, Educational Psychologist, 18(1), 42-50.
Salomon (1983) reviewed several studies to support his argument that the way sources are perceived significantly influences the extent of mental effort learners will apply to a given task. The amount of invested mental effort (AIME) is determined by how much learners invest in interpreting information from a source into something meaningful (i.e. nonautomatic elaborations of units of information). This is influenced greatly by how learners perceive a source of information: based on attributes of the information (e.g. medium characteristics, level of difficulty, and importance of the messages), the associated tasks of learning from the messages, and the context of learning from the source. Therefore, it is not just the task itself that determines AIME, it is also the observers' perceptions of the source. According to Salomon (1983), self-efficacy also figures prominently as a source of AIME, based on how the source is perceived. Learners feel less efficacious in learning from sources that are perceived as more demanding (e.g. print) than those that are considered "easy" (e.g. television). JM [see also 1984 article]
Salomon, G. (1984)
Salomon, G. (1984). Television is "easy" and print is "tough": The differential investment of mental effort in learning as a function of perceptions and attributions, Journal of Educational Psychology, 76(4), 647-658.
Salomon (1984) conducted a study of 124 sixth grader to test the relationship between self-efficacy, amount of invested mental effort (AIME), and learning from either televised film or printed text. Participants were assigned to two groups: 1) viewing a silent film (TV group), and 2) reading a comparable printed text (print group). Pretest assessment showed that children reported significantly higher levels of self-efficacy for viewing television, which they considered "easy," than printed text, which was considered more "demanding." Posttest results show, as predicted, that the TV group reported significantly greater AIME for learning, and significantly greater achievement (recognition and inferencing). Posttest results of self-efficacy occured as predicted: Self-efficacy was positively and significantly related to AIME and to achievement for the print group, but negatively related to AIME and achievement for the TV group. These results are an important consideration for researchers of the self-efficacy construct for two related reasons: 1) self-efficacy maintains strong predictive and explanatory power for academic performance when the source of information is considered "demanding" and 2) students with high levels of self-efficacy for a given task may maintain lower AIME if the expectation of the task is thought to be "easy." Salomon refers to this phenomena as "self-sustaining prophecies," which do not necessarily lead to self-fulfilling prophecies but have an effect on AIME.
In the Salomon (1984) study, correlations were derived for the relationship between self-efficacy and AIME during the actual learning process and not based on the correlation between self-efficacy and AIME for posttest performance; that is, participants were asked about their levels of self-efficacy for learning from the various sources, and not for being able to perform on a related test based on specific, criterial questions. Nonetheless, this study did measure a variation of self-efficacy for learning from differential sources and revealed some remarkable results that should be heeded by instructional designers when selecting appropriate media. Futher interpretations of this study for the nineties would be to question whether self-efficacy and learning from CBI, too, will be affected by the users' preconceived notions about the attributes of computers. JM
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