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Title: What it Means to Elaborate: The Effect of Writing Modality on Descriptions of Analogous Relationships
Authors: Braxton, Jalisha
Advisors: Goldberg, Adele
Department: Psychology
Class Year: 2016
Abstract: This study explored the effect of writing modality (handwriting, typing) on student descriptions of analogous physics scenarios. 33 undergraduate students read descriptions of two scenarios concerning the concepts of buoyancy (easy) and projectile motion (hard). Students were then instructed to compare and contrast the scenarios by composing an elaborate essay through either handwriting or typing. Our results indicated that neither writing modality nor concept difficulty had an effect on the amount of expository content students included in their compositions. Additionally, this study sought to determine whether an essay’s mode of composition could be detected based solely on its content, and whether this detectability would be influenced by concept difficulty. Our results suggest that modality detection is indeed dependent on writing modality and concept difficulty, with “easy” handwritten compositions being the easiest to detect. These findings are discussed in relation to current neurobiological and developmental findings. In addition, implications for these findings are extended to the education domain.
Extent: 37 pages
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en_US
Appears in Collections:Psychology, 1930-2017

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