International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy

Volume 15 Num. 1 - March 2015


Directed Verbalization, Conceptual Complexity and Abstraction

Volume 15 Num. 1 - March 2015 - Pages 33-62


Ricardo Pérez Almonacid , Margareth M. Rangel Cárdenas , Jannay Hernández Guzmán


The interaction between conceptual complexity and different types of directed verbalization on conceptual attainment and abstraction was studied. Two types of concepts were manipulated: unidimensional and conditional, and three types of directed verbalization in each trial: description of contingencies, exemplar construction and criterion formulation, with a control condition of verbal interference. The ultimate goal was to examine the role of linguistic mediation in adjustment to relations systems that includes the abstraction of system itself. 48 undergraduate students participated, and it was used a receptive classification task with three problems of the same concept, which included choice and verbalization trials, and a final task of abstraction of each of these three concepts and of the generic concept the integrated them. The results indicate that the unidimensional concept was attained even without directed verbalization while only one participant attained the conditional one. Only when the unidimensional concept was attained consistently in all three problems at optimal levels, it was found dependence upon correct verbalization and, therefore, linguistic mediation. The latter was clearly established in the criterion formulation condition and in turn, was associated with the possibility of abstract each criterion explicitly but without the generic abstraction necessarily. The findings are discussed in terms of the process leading to the criterion identification and abstraction, focusing it as a progressive adjustment in which the linguistic dominance is established.

Key words:

conceptual attainment, verbalization, abstraction, linguistic mediation, categories

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