Type of Document Dissertation Author Kim, Soyoung Author's Email Address firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com URN etd-06092006-044853 Title Juxtaposition of Semiotic Mediation with Social Mediation: The Effect of Text Types and Social Interaction on Moral Judgment Degree Doctor of Philosophy Department Educational Psychology and Learning Systems, Department of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Amy L. Baylor Committee Chair Betsy J. Becker Committee Member J. Michael Spector Committee Member Michael A. Uzendoski Committee Member Keywords
- Hierarchical Linear Growth Modeling
- Moral Judgment
- Open Text
- Social Mediation
- Semiotic Mediation
- Semiotic Analysis
Date of Defense 2006-05-10 Availability unrestricted AbstractThe higher mental functions are developed through social mediation and sign systems which are socially and culturally mediated. The educational roles of signs and social interaction for moral judgment competency were investigated in this experimental study by juxtaposing semiotic mediation and social mediation.
Semiotic mediation was represented by two different types of texts-open text and closed text. Open text is defined as a text that facilitates readers’ multiple and mediated interpretation, while closed text leads readers to one aimed interpretation. Texts were developed by inserting interface design elements (semantic, pictorial, and structural elements), and the story of the Heinz dilemma was embedded in texts. The participants drew concept maps after they interacted with each type of text.
Social mediation was operationalized as individual writing and group discussion conditions to represent the absence and presence of social interaction respectively. Each participant wrote an individual essay or contributed to group discussion. Through social mediation, individuals can reach intersubjectivity with other social beings.
The mixed method approach was used as a triangulation of hierarchical linear modeling with semiotic analysis. The three-time repeated measures on moral judgment test (MJT) were obtained from a total of 242 college students. The pre-measure data on moral epistemology (cognitive aspect) and moral motivation (affective aspect) was also collected as two individual characteristics related to moral judgment.
The open text group acquired significantly higher MJT scores at the final measure than the closed text group, and the participants in the group discussion condition showed significantly higher growth rates than those in the individual essay condition. In addition, group discussion also significantly influenced the final scores, and open text influenced the growth rates. As the cross-interaction effect, the effect of semiotic mediation was significant on the effect of moral epistemology on the final MJT score.
The results of subsequent qualitative analysis were consistent with the quantitative results. Both quantitative and qualitative results suggest that young adults can reach a more desirable level of moral judgment competency when they are encouraged to think critically about multiple aspects of a given moral situation, and morality is grown and amplified through social mediation.
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