SUMMARY AND EVALUATION
Delos D. Wickens
THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY
Perhaps the only thing I am certain about in this effort of mine to summarize the proceedings of the last three days is that I have your sympathy. And may I assure you, who must listen to me, that you have mine. Now that we understand each other, I'll explain what I have attempted to do.
I attempted first, while scribbling--and later evaluating--my notes on the papers and the discussions, to discover a theme general enough to be recurrent in a number of sessions. Then I sought for themes of lesser generality, but of sufficient breadth to intrude--or should I say emerge?--in a number of papers or discussions. Finally, so far as individual papers are concerned, I've asked and shall try to answer the following kinds of questions: Does a paper close an issue, close it so the topic can be dismissed in the somewhat impermanent sense that is true of any topic in an active science with the comment "Well done"? Does a paper, because of its description of new techniques or conceptual tools, give promise of bringing closure to some area? Does a paper, in whole or part, suggest some new trend of research in the field of verbal learning? And finally I've looked to see if topics that arose in the last meeting of this group--which I regret missing even more now than at the time--have instigated research and theorizing which now lead to a more thorough understanding of the topic. I've given an affirmative answer or found support for all of my queries, and I'll now turn to what appears to be an over-all theme.
It seems to me that time and time again in the discussions and the interpretations we have been divided into friendly, but highly articulate, opposing camps. The symbol on the banner of one of these camps clearly reads S-R, but how the other shall be identified is not so easy to discover. It is not Gestalt psychology, and it certainly isn't structuralism or functionalism of the Chicago tradition, so for want of a more positive name I'll simply call it non-S-R, or should it be anti-S-R?