A Study of Psychological Factors Affecting Student Performance in Biology

Hasson, Fadhil Ubaid (1988) A Study of Psychological Factors Affecting Student Performance in Biology. MSc(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

This thesis describes a predictive model for Science Education, based upon information processing. The questions which form the basis of this model deal with relationships between the psychological concepts of working memory and Field Dependence, and students' performance in biology. The empirical work was done in the Biology Department at Glasgow University in sessions 1986-1987, 1987-1988 and the samples were 272 and 273 undergraduates, respectively. This study shows how to measure the working memory space of students. It is shown that working memory capacity is directly related to biology performance in conventional exams. The psychological behaviour was measured by standardised tests of working memory capacity, such as Digit Span Backwards, Letter Span Backwards, and Figural Intersection (Pascual-Leone). Field Dependence/Independence was also measured by a test similar to that in Witkin's work. When comparisons between working memory space (W. M. C.), the degree of Field Dependence/Independence and biology performance were made, it was found that the best biology performance was for students with high working memory space who were also Field Independent. It was also noticed that low capacity Field Dependent students seemed to do well in fixed response questions. It is also suggested that the findings in this thesis should affect the way in which biology is presented to students at all levels to avoid working memory overload and to take into account the learning styles of Field Independence/Dependence.

Item Type: Thesis (MSc(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Keywords: Science education, Educational psychology
Date of Award: 1988
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1988-77738
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2020 11:53
Last Modified: 14 Jan 2020 11:53
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/77738

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