If RRs are descriptions of a fundamental component of how people live their lives, then is the acquisition of this device linked to specific aspects of intellectual capacity?
Why conduct this research with people who have severe learning disabilities?
British Picture Vocabulary Scale Short Form was used to assess verbal mental age. This is a test designed to measure receptive vocabulary in children aged 3-16. The child indicates which of a set of line drawings best illustrates the meaning of a stimulus word pronounced by the researcher. When assessing adults, this scale is used to produce a verbal mental age.
Makaton symbols depict the five main emotions, disgust, happiness, anger, sad and fear, and five black and white line drawings depict events; dog faeces, a Christmas Tree, a man hitting a dog with a stick a grave, and a ghost.
Ravens Coloured Progressive Matrices (1947) was used to assess non-verbal IQ, aimed at 5-11 year olds. It aims to assay the ability to infer rules, to manage a hierarchy of goals, and to form high-level abstractions and is believed to be a ‘‘paradigmatic’’ measure of fluid intelligence. Recommended uses include measurement of a person’s ability to form perceptual relations and reason by analogy in research settings.
The 9 RRs explored are:
Using cartoon-style drawings to illustrate these reciprocal roles, the stimulus pole of the Reciprocal Role was offered together with three other cartoons. One was the anticipated response pole, another was an antonym and the third a distracter. Participants were then asked to select which of the three possible response cards fitted the stimulus scene best. Using the five emotion pictures, they were also asked how the responding person might feel.
From BPVS to RR identification
There were no significant associations between scores on the BPVS and recognition of RRs.
From feeling-action matching to RR identification
There was no relationship between the ability to assign feelings to action pictures and the ability to spot RRs from the pictures.
Linear Regression from matrices score to RR identification
Overall, there was a highly significant contribution made by scores on Matrices to the ability to spot RRs (p = .01) and to assign feelings correctly to those RR (p = .001).
Furthermore, scores on Matrices highly significantly predicted the overall tendency to assign an antonym to the stimulus pole of the RR (p = .004)
Results show the ability to recognise drawings representing both poles of RRs draws on fluid intelligence, general reasoning and the capacity to form abstractions, as assessed by Matrices.
Recognising RRs is not dependent on language ability, but on the capacity to observe and synthesise image patterns. This makes sense as we relate pre-linguistically via gestures, mime, tone, posture and facial expression which we abstract into felt relationships.
The significance of antonyms may be because they are related to both poles of a RR as the other side of the coin; as positions around one central RRP.
People with learning disabilities report that SDRs assist internalisation better than prose (Wells 2009). Perhaps this is because as a visual map drawing the sequence of difficult roles being explored in therapy; it taps into the cognitive resources they use to appreciate intuitively RRs.
Julie Lloyd || August 2010
Published in a book in 2013.
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