Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Faculty of Science

First Advisor

Vernon Schaefer

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


An attempt was made to demonstrate laboratory conditions in which experiential components of meaning (i.e. perceptual and emotional correlates of observable stimuli and responses) pattern to form a gestalt. Semantic differential scales were used to measure the meaning of simple visual figures in two phases of the experiment. The first phase consisted of a pre- and post-exposure measurement of meaning with an intervening exposure to a compound visual display. In the second phase, subjects were exposed to an altered visual display and then rated the stimuli again.

Results do not support the predictions that (1) the meaning of the central stimulus would change as a function of being presented in the context of other stimuli, or that (2) if the context is altered, then the meaning of the central stimulus would change again. Methodological problems and alternative theoretical notions are considered in the Discussion.

Convocation Year