Description: A large body of research has depicted relative arousal of the left and right cerebral hemispheres as related to utilization of particular defensive coping styles, level of anxiety, and perceptual styles. The right and left hemispheres are also presented in the literature as differing in visual-spatial and verbal-auditory short term memory abilities. The present research studied 127 right handed undergraduates' relative performance on forward spatial and digits memory spans in relation to hemispheric lateralization and other perceptual and personality variables hypothesized in the literature to be related to hemispheric arousal. It was hypothesized that the forward spatial and digit memory spans would display asymmetrical sensitivity to hemispheric arousal. That is, in a series of successive factor analyses, a hemispheric balance factor, a trait anxiety factor, and a short term memory factor would emerge. The three factors were hypothesized to be unrelated to each other. During an initial group pretesting, subjects were given pencil and paper measures of handedness, trait anxiety, and several defensive coping styles. During a second individual testing, subjects were administered measures of short term memory, field independence, and a computerized presentation of geometric designs which measured the subjects ability to detect differences which occurred at either the global or analytic level (Navon task). The factor analyses revealed only the hypothesized trait anxiety factor. The hypothesized short term memory and hemispheric balance of arousal factors did not emerge. Instead, a. defensive coping style factor and separate verbal—auditory and visual-spatial short term memory factors emerged. Several methodological difficulties of the present study which possibly contributed to the failure of the two hypothesized factors to emerge were discussed. Several additional findings, including sex differences in hemispheric lateralization, were presented. Also, signal detection analysis revealed a pattern such that trait anxious subjects were biased toward over-reporting differences on the Navon task. ...
Date: August 1985
Creator: Wilcox, Gary A. (Gary Alden)
Item Type: Thesis or Dissertation
Partner: UNT Libraries