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DOI

10.14221/ajte.1998v23n1.2

Abstract

This study investigated the decision making strategies of learning disabled (LD) and non-leaming disabled (NLD) adult students using the information processing model outlined by Kolligian and Stemberg (1987) and process tracing analysis. As predicted by Kolligian and Sternberg (1987), LD adult students were unable to selectively encode the problem or make selective comparisons and combinations of the dimensions; that is, they did not use "skilled omission". LD adult students searched exhaustively, used more information and demonstrated less variability in their search patterns than their non disabled peers. These strategies imply the use of compensatory decision models (e.g. additive model in which the dimensions are examined and integrated) which are less cognitively efficient. By contrast, the NLD students employed "skilled omission " and eliminated many aspects of the decision problem. They adopted non-compensatory decision models (e.g. elimination by-aspects model), which are more cognitively efficient. When task complexity was increased, both groups differentially modified their strategies; however, the NLD students made more adaptations. The results support Kolligian and Sternberg's (1987) information processing theoretical framework, in particular their componential deficient approach to assessing the cognitive strategies of learning disabled students. Implications for teaching practices and study programs in post secondary institutions are discussed.

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Link to publisher version (DOI)

10.14221/ajte.1998v23n1.2