Instance sequence and analysis of instance attribute representation in concept acquisition

Robert D. Tennyson, Michael W. Steve, Richard C. Boutwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


2 experiments with a total of 222 undergraduates tested the assumption that concept acquisition is facilitated by instructional design strategies that focus on the critical attributes of instances. 2 design strategy variables were investigated: (a) sequence, a presentation of instances according to a defined relationship of the stimuli (organized vs random); and (b) analytical explanation, a verbal statement presented with each instance which analyzed the presence or absence of the critical attributes. Results show that organized sequence was more effective than the random. In addition, the groups receiving the analytical explanation material achieved significantly higher mean scores and more efficient acquisition than the groups without it. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)821-827
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Educational Psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1975
Externally publishedYes


  • instructional design strategies with organized vs random instance sequences & analysis of instance attribute, concept acquisition, college students


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