Individual differences among repressors and sensitizers in conceptual skills

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William H. Bergquist
John Lloyd
Sandra Johansson
Cite this article:  Bergquist, W., Lloyd, J., & Johansson, S. (1973). Individual differences among repressors and sensitizers in conceptual skills. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 1(2), 144-152.


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Sensitizers were hypothesized to perform significantly better than repressors on 11 concept acquisition tasks. Differences between repression-sensitization (R-S) groups (n = 48), as measured by the Byrne R-S scale, were found to be significant on several of these tasks. As compared with repressors, sensitizers more rapidly acquired: (a) A disjunctive nonverbal concept, when a set for conjunctive concepts had to be broken (p < .05); and (b) Two verbal concepts (p < .05). Medium scoring participants performed significantly better than repressors in acquiring: (a) Nonverbal disjunctive concepts (p < .05); and (b) Verbal concepts (p < .05). R-S results are discussed with reference to conceptual skills and “cognitive flexibility”.
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