A validation of two measures of the concept of understanding
Katula, Richard Allen
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The purpose of this investigation was to conduct initial research into the measurement of the concept of understanding. The specific purpose of this investigation was to validate the semantic differential and the Taylor Cloze Procedure as measures of two constructs of understanding: the ability of the receiver to apply concepts as the source would apply them in a message, and the ability to know or predict attitudes of the source toward concepts in a message, or toward related concepts. This investigation further attempted to determine if receivers judgments of the understandability of a message would correspond with expert judgments of a message as being either highly understandable or of low understandability. This was done by means of a Personal Estimate of Understanding. Two messages were selected on the basis of expert judgments: one message was judged to be highly understandable, the other to be of low understandability. These two messages became the two treatment variables. The taped messages were played to two groups of Speech 100 students at Northern Illinois University. The subjects were asked to fill out three measures after listening to the messages: the semantic differential as if they were the speaker, the Taylor Cloze Procedure, and the Estimate of personal Understanding. The scores obtained by subjects on these measures were computed for F values. The .05 level of confidence was chosen for the determination of significant differences in the scores.