Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Thirty-six preadolescents and 36 adolescents were given 12 minutes to explore the game possibilities in a TV game apparatus. Two instructional sets included a free play set and an instructional set to master the games. Video tape analysis of the exploratory behavior revealed some differences attributable to cognitive differences between the age groups and also to mastery set differences. The younger group, consistent with Piaget's model, was demonstrated to be less able to isolate and test hypotheses and was more rigid in changing hypotheses. This resulted in a more rapid mastery rate seen in the adolescent group. The instructional set for mastery was found to increase the speed at which the subjects alternated between panels on unmastered tasks. A subsequent factor analysis revealed three dimensions in the measured characteristics of exploration including rate of exploration, interest in novelty, and mastery rate.