chapter  14
48 Pages

Individual Differences in Symbolic Habits and Skills

This chapter deals with individual differences in the efficiency of and "preference" for particular modes of symbolic representation. Such variations may be regarded as symbolic habits resulting from different patterns of experience during the development of the modes of representation, and their consideration here is simply an extension of the task of the preceding chapters, which has been to understand generally the functional significance of the symbolic modes. More specifically, individual differences can be measured and they accordingly constitute one class of defining operation that can be used to evaluate the functions of imaginal and verbal processes in perception, association, memory, and language. The historical and conceptual background of the problem will first be reviewed, followed by sections on the measurement of individual differences and research evidence on the functional significance of such differences in symbolic habits.