The premise that activities have inherent meanings is basic to the theory and practice of occupational therapy. In this study the investigators hypothesized that different activities would elicit different kinds of affective meanings in their participants. The subjects in this study were 59 students beginning their training in occupational therapy. On their first day in an activities class, and before instruction in activity analysis, the subjects were presented with four selected activities. Immediately after performing each activity, the students were requested to rate the activity according to Osgood’s 12-scale short-form semantic differential. The data generated were reduced subsequently to Osgood’s three factors of affective meaning: “evaluation,” “power,” and “activity” (in this study called action). Results indicated that the four activities elicited significantly different responses on all three factors. Specific results and implications of this study’s methodology for future occupational therapy research are discussed.

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