Friday, July 22, 2011

A touch for pronunciation learning? Hyper- and Hypo-hatics

Clip art: Clker
Autotelic need-for-touch subjects in this 2007 study by Krishna and Morrin were better at distinguishing "diagnostic" from "non-diagnostic" touch in relation to food attractiveness. In other words, if the "feel" of a product related to its essence or identity, for example, the softness of a banana, the "autotels" were better at recognizing it. Likewise, they were better at ignoring non-taste relevant features, such as the feel of the label. Non-autotels, were less able to get diagnostic features--but were likely to be more taken in by non-diagnostic features. (You can "see" the implications for marketing in grocery stores!)

The research includes a very informal questionnaire to self-identify degree of haptic need-to-touch which I could easily amplify and use in research. We see constantly the range of "autotelicity" in our students. If we can identify that by degree, perhaps we can, as the research suggests, develop ways to better orient students at either end of the continuum to their use of hapticity in learning the system. That will certainly help in selling the "product!"

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