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Dimensions of Analytic Attitude in Cognition and Personality

Messick, Samuel J.; Fritzky, Ferdinand J.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Bulletin
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
National Institute of Mental Health, Cognitive Ability, Cognitive Style, Conceptual Styles Test, Factor Structure, Group Embedded Figures Test, Spatial Ability, Visual Measures


A group-administered procedure was developed to measure facility in learning complex designs with sufficient articulation to identify subsequent variations on the designs. Scores for 11 types of design variations and a group measure of embedded-figures performance were intercorrelated and factor analyzed, producing four factors. The two major dimensions corresponded to facility in identifying (a) variations containing figural elements and (b) variations displaying figural form without elements. A third mode of stimulus analysis reflected the utilization of background information and was substantially correlated with the other two. A significant relationship was obtained between the element articulation factor and embedded-figures performance, thereby linking element articulation to the field-independent type of analytical functioning described by Witkin, et al. (1962). The personality and cognitive correlates of these articulation scores were discussed in terms of analytic and relational categorizing as formulated by Kagan, et. al. (1962).

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