Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Paul T. Mountjoy

Second Advisor

Dr. Howard Poole

Third Advisor

Dr. Galen Alessi

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Jack Michael


This study compared four instructional programs which taught terminology in behavioral psychology using computer-assisted instruction (CAD with college students. The independent variable was the type of instruction presented by one of four CAI programs: (a) Rules Only, (b) Rules Plus Positive Examples, (c) Rules Plus Negative Examples, and (d) Rules Plus Positive and Negative Examples. The dependent variables were the: (a) pretest scores, (b) posttest scores, (c) 1-week delayed posttest scores, and (d) preference questionnaire scores. Using the pretest as a covariate, results approached significance (p=.07) on posttest scores only for the Rules Only and Rules Plus Positive Examples over the Rules Plus Negative Examples and Rules Plus Positive and Negative Examples. Subject compliance may have been a factor in some programs more than others. There were no significant differences between time to complete the programs or error rate per program. The results are discussed in terms of the deductive versus inductive teaching controversy. Sophisticated learners may benefit more from deductive lessons while naive learners may benefit more from inductive lessons.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access