The results were collected in a tally chart form, (see appendix). The apparatus needed for this study consists of the video of the mother and child completing the jigsaw puzzles, a quiet room where the data can be collected without disruptions, and a pen and paper for collecting the data in a tally chart form. Results and Discussion
The tally results were collected and the data has been shown using two different styles of graphs, as each graph presents the data in a different way and makes it clearer to see the different changes that occur. When looking at this data the last jigsaw puzzle, Jig 4 is going to be temporarily excluded from the results, as it was not completed. These results will be looked at later.
Chart1, the bar chart (see appendix), is the clearest when comparing the different methods of helping given in each individual jigsaw puzzle. Looking at this data you can clearly see that for each of the first three jigsaw puzzles, the indirect verbal help was used more by the mother than the others; then direct verbal help was used the next most frequent form of help; followed by indirect physical help; and finally the least amount of help given in the first three puzzles was direct physical help.
This ties in with Wood’s hypothesis (previously looked at in the introduction), that ‘the more difficulty the child had in achieving his goal, the more direct the intervention of the mother would be’, because as the difficulty of the jigsaw puzzles increases so does the directness of the mothers help. However the third puzzle shows the mother actually gives more direct physical help then indirect, this could be because the mother and/or child was getting bored and so she spent more time putting the pieces in for him to speed up the process a bit.
The bar chart also shows that indirect verbal and direct verbal seem to be used very different amounts of times, there seems to be a lot more indirect verbal helping than direct verbal helping and even less physical helping. However although slightly different results have occurred between the amount of physical help used in each puzzle you can see that there was almost the same amount of physical indirect and physical direct help given in each puzzle.
This could either suggest that this is because the mother just happens to use the same amount of physical help regardless of whether it is indirect or direct or it could be suggesting that in fact indirect verbal help is not effective when helping a child, for example, the mother could have pointed at the picture or held up the box lid and the child might have ignored it or might not have understood her reasons for doing it, in which case the mother would have realized that this had not helped and then used direct physical behavior such as moving a plaice into place.
Moving onto the line graph, this helps in a different way. It helps us to perceive the degree of help given between puzzles. It shows that the hypothesis that the mother’s help will increase and become more direct as the tasks become more difficult, although it is not completely accurately shown, you can still see that there is a correlation between results that support it. By looking at the graph you can see that verbal indirect behavior creates the most erratic results.
The help increases in the second puzzle but then decreases in the third puzzle, this could be because the mother is struggling to help her child by this time and realizes that indirect verbal help is not a very successful method anymore, or it could again mean that the mother has become bored of giving encouragement by this time. The other forms of helping, however, also take on a less prominent form of this behavior. This also provides evidence to suggest that the child and/or the mother is becoming bored.
This is where the fourth jigsaw puzzle comes into the picture. By this time you can clearly see when watching the video that both the child and the mother are bored, the results are very different for this puzzle as little completion of this puzzle takes place, it is barely started. Although the mother does attempt to ‘start the child off’, but to no avail, this explains why there is a lot more direct help during this puzzle. There are many problems that can be noted with this study.
First of all the problem that appears to have arisen throughout this discussion is that there is a strong chance that both the mother and child would have become bored, and it can be seen on the video that by the third video this seems to be the case, this can have a dramatic affect on the findings as the mother could automatically start doing parts of the jigsaw puzzle herself to speed up the process or the child could give up easier, thus effecting the directness of the results.
Another problem could be that it is obviously only one child being used for this study and therefore the results cannot be related to the whole population but only to this one child. This suggest that further research therefore should focus on using more participants, different types of tasks, and putting the tasks being used in different orders to avoid confounding variables.
A short conclusion of this research suggests that although the study does provide more support for previous research and hypothesis, and that it has also come up with some original findings too, it also has a large number of problems that could easily affect the validity and that need to be resolved in further research.