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Journal of Experimental Child Psychology

Louise Bunce
Taxidermied animals provide an important source of information about the natural world, but failure to understand their reality status may result in missed learning opportunities for museum visitors. This study explored 4-10-year-old children's and adults' (N = 207) reality status judgments and biological and authenticity property attributions for a taxidermied rabbit during a museum visit. The aim was to examine their understanding of its former status as a living animal and its current status as an authentic piece of natural history, under different presentation conditions: (a) as a touchable exhibit; (b) inside an exhibition case-untouchable; and (c) in an experimental context paired with a toy rabbit-both touchable...
September 12, 2018: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Li Zhao, Gail D Heyman, Lulu Chen, Wenjin Sun, Rui Zhang, Kang Lee
The current research examined whether young children engage in unethical behavior to a greater extent when they have a prosocial justification for doing so. Participants (3- and 5-year-olds, N = 240) played a guessing game in which they were tempted to cheat to win a prize after promising not to do so. In Study 1, children were randomly assigned to either an experimental prosocial condition in which they were told that the prize would be given to a child who was unable to play the game or a control condition in which they were told that they would get to keep the prize for themselves...
September 11, 2018: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Andrew G Young, Martha W Alibali, Charles W Kalish
This study investigated whether early school-aged children's causal learning from collaborative joint action differs from their learning from their own individual action or observation. Children in a joint condition performed causal interventions with an adult on two causal systems. Children in an independent condition took turns and observed an adult perform the same interventions on one system and performed the same interventions themselves on the other system. Joint action improved first graders' (n = 60) causal inference compared with individual action and observation...
September 8, 2018: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Kelsey J MacKay, Bert De Smedt
Many studies have examined the cognitive determinants of children's calculation, yet the specific contribution of children's patterning abilities to calculation remains relatively unexplored. This study investigated whether children's ability to complete sequence patterns (i.e., add the missing element into 2-4-?-8) uniquely predicted individual differences in calculation and whether these associations differed depending on the type of stimuli in these sequence patterns (i.e., number, letter, time, or rotation)...
September 8, 2018: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Marta Białecka-Pikul, Magdalena Kosno, Arkadiusz Białek, Marta Szpak
From the interaction theory perspective, we aimed to verify whether the interactive context in which theory of mind is measured can allow children younger than 4 years to pass the verbal false belief task (FBT). Therefore, an interactive FBT (iFBT) was devised, in which children were actively engaged in the story, and was used to test 210 children twice: first when they were 3 years old and again when they were 3.5 years old. Most 3-year-olds were unable to pass the iFBT (28% passed), but a half year later their performance was enhanced and they passed at a rate above chance level (59% passed)...
September 8, 2018: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Kimberly L Day, Cynthia L Smith
Private speech is an important strategy reflecting children's self-regulation, and thus understanding how parenting may support private speech can inform intervention work on improving self-regulation. The current study longitudinally investigated how sensitive parenting and directive parenting in toddlerhood interacted to predict preschoolers' private speech in an emotion-eliciting task. In toddlerhood, maternal parenting behaviors were observed during two freeplay sessions. Preschoolers' social and private speech were transcribed and coded during a frustration task...
September 8, 2018: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Nathan R George, Tilbe Göksun, Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Roberta Michnick Golinkoff
Göksun, George, Hirsh-Pasek, and Golinkoff (2013) used force dynamics, or the semantic categories defined by spatial arrays of forces, to study the development of preschoolers' predictions about the outcomes of forces working in concert. The current study extends this approach to problems requiring inferences about causal factors. In total, 30 5- and 6-year-old children were asked to identify and coordinate forces to achieve a result. Problems varied in the number and orientation of forces, mirroring spatial arrays characteristic of categories like prevent (i...
September 3, 2018: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Samuel Ronfard, Laura Nelson, Yarrow Dunham, Peter R Blake
The ability to assess the value of the information one receives and the intentions of the source of that information can be used to establish cooperative relationships and to identify cooperative partners. Across two experiments, 4- to 8-year-old children (N = 204) received a note with correct, incorrect, or no information that affected their efforts on a search task. Children were told that all informants had played the game before and knew the location of the hidden reward. In the no information condition, children were told that the informant needed to leave before finishing the note and, thus, was not intentionally uninformative...
August 29, 2018: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Jan-Henning Ehm, Jan Lonnemann, Janin Brandenburg, Sina Simone Huschka, Marcus Hasselhorn, Arne Lervåg
Letter knowledge is considered an important cognitive foundation for learning to read. The underlying mechanisms of the association between letter knowledge and reading skills are, however, not fully understood. Acquiring letter knowledge depends on the ability to learn and retrieve sound-symbol pairings. In the current study, this process was explored by setting preschool children's (N = 242, mean age = 5.57 years) performance in the acquisition and retrieval of a paired associate learning (PAL) task in relation to their letter knowledge as well as to their performance in tasks assessing precursors of reading skills (i...
August 28, 2018: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Cecilia I Calero, Diego E Shalom, Elizabeth S Spelke, Mariano Sigman
As infants, children are sensitive to geometry when recognizing objects or navigating through rooms; however, explicit knowledge of geometry develops slowly and may be unstable even in adults. How can geometric concepts be both so accessible and so elusive? To examine how implicit and explicit geometric concepts develop, the current study assessed, in 132 children (3-8 years old) while they played a simple geometric judgment task, three distinctive channels: children's choices during the game as well as the language and gestures they used to justify and accompany their choices...
August 28, 2018: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Alexander P D'Esterre, Michael T Rizzo, Melanie Killen
This study investigated how theory of mind (ToM) competence is related to children's ability to differentiate between intentional and unintentional false statements regarding claims to resources. Participants (4-10 years old; N = 122) heard about individuals who had different access to knowledge about resource ownership when making resource claims, and they were asked to make an evaluation, attribute intentions, assign punishment, and predict the teacher's assigned punishment. Two measures of ToM were assessed: a prototypic false belief ToM assessment and a contextually embedded, morally relevant false belief theory of mind (MoToM) assessment...
August 28, 2018: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Solène Ambrosi, Mathieu Servant, Agnès Blaye, Boris Burle
The development of cognitive control is known to follow a long and protracted development. However, whether the interference effect in conflict tasks in children would entail the same core processes as in adults, namely an automatic activation of incorrect response and its subsequent suppression, remains an open question. We applied distributional analyses to reaction times and accuracy of 5- and 6-year-old children performing three conflict tasks (flanker, Simon, and Stroop) in a within-participants design...
August 27, 2018: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Janani Prabhakar, Judith A Hudson
Prior research has revealed a strong link between the ability to remember one's past (i.e., episodic memory) and the ability to envision one's future (i.e., episodic prospection). Indeed, the past holds valuable learning experiences that can inform future choices and plans. Although these abilities both emerge during preschool years, there exist few theoretical accounts of how memory processes might support developmental improvements in prospection abilities. We developed a novel paradigm to determine whether young children (3 and 4 years of age) use past knowledge to inform future choices...
August 27, 2018: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Corentin Gonthier, Melody Zira, Pascale Colé, Agnès Blaye
As they age, children tend to get more effective at regulating their behavior in complex situations; this improvement in cognitive control is often interpreted as a shift from predominantly reactive control to proactive control. There are three issues with this interpretation. First, hard evidence is lacking that younger children actually rely on reactive control. Second, the precise age range when such a shift would occur is still unclear. Third, the reasons for this shift have not been explored. In the current study, we tested the hypothesis that children under 5 years of age do rely on reactive control, that they progressively shift to proactive control with age, and that this shift is related to increases in working memory capacity (which is necessary for proactive control)...
August 27, 2018: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Diana S Y Tham, Alison Rees, J Gavin Bremner, Alan Slater, Scott Johnson
Perception of object persistence across occlusion emerges at around 4 months of age for objects moving horizontally or vertically. In addition, congruent auditory information for movement enhances perception of persistence of an object moving horizontally. In two experiments, we examined the effect of presenting bimodal (visual and auditory) sensory information, both congruently and incongruently, for a vertical moving object occlusion event. A total of 68 4-month-old infants (34 girls) were tested for perception of persistence of an object moving up and down, passing at each translation behind a centrally placed occluder...
August 20, 2018: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Pedro F S Rodrigues, Josefa N S Pandeirada
Visual distraction is widely studied in children, particularly in visuospatial cognitive tasks. In these studies, targets and distractors are usually shown in the same display (e.g., the computer screen). However, children are constantly exposed to visually enriched environments (e.g., elementary school classrooms), and little is known about their influence on children's cognition. Although the importance of the surrounding environment is well recognized in the literature, few experimental studies have explored this question...
December 2018: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Liyang Sai, Xiao Pan Ding, Xiaoqing Gao, Genyue Fu
The current study investigated the development of second-order lying and its relation to theory of mind and executive function. Previous studies have examined only first-order lying, in which a child makes an untruthful statement to intentionally deceive an unsuspecting opponent. As opposed to first-order lying, second-order lying requires the use of both lies and truths to deceive an opponent because the opponent is fully aware of the liar's deceptive intention. Here, we used a modified hide-and-seek task, in which children were asked to hide a coin in either one of their hands for opponents to find...
December 2018: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Naiqi G Xiao, Mai Mukaida, Paul C Quinn, Olivier Pascalis, Kang Lee, Shoji Itakura
Although prior research has established that perceptual narrowing reflects the influence of experience on the development of face and speech processing, it is unclear whether narrowing in the two domains is related. A within-participant design (N = 72) was used to investigate discrimination of own- and other-race faces and native and non-native speech sounds in 3-, 6-, 9-, and 12-month-old infants. For face and speech discrimination, whereas 3-month-olds discriminated own-race faces and native speech sounds as well as other-race faces and non-native speech sounds, older infants discriminated only own-race faces and native speech sounds...
December 2018: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Maciel M Hernández, Nancy Eisenberg, Carlos Valiente, Tracy L Spinrad, Rebecca H Berger, Sarah K Johns, Kassondra M Silva, Anjolii Diaz, Jody Southworth, Marilyn S Thompson
The associations between children's (N = 301) observed expression of positive and negative emotion in school and symptoms of psychological maladjustment (i.e., depressive and externalizing symptoms) were examined from kindergarten to first grade. Positive and negative emotional expressivity levels were observed in school settings, and teachers reported on measures of children's externalizing and depressive symptoms. In longitudinal panel models testing bidirectional paths, depressive symptoms in kindergarten were negatively associated with positive expressivity in first grade but not vice versa...
December 2018: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Caroline Byrd Hornburg, Sara A Schmitt, David J Purpura
Understanding of mathematical language is critical for numeracy skill development. However, prior research has focused exclusively on relations between mathematical language and numeracy skills, broadly measured. Thus, the aim of the current study was to explore more targeted relations between preschoolers' mathematical language and specific numeracy skills (e.g., cardinality, numeral comparison). The participants were 124 preschoolers aged 3.52 to 6.03 years (M = 4.78 years, SD = 0.53). Children were assessed on a battery of early numeracy skills and mathematical language as well as expressive vocabulary...
December 2018: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
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