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Journal of Experimental Child Psychology

Lorie-Marlène Brault Foisy, Emmanuel Ahr, Steve Masson, Olivier Houdé, Grégoire Borst
Children tend to confuse reversible letters such as b and d when they start learning to read. According to some authors, mirror errors are a consequence of the mirror generalization (MG) process that allows one to recognize objects independently of their left-right orientation. Although MG is advantageous for the visual recognition of objects, it is detrimental for the visual recognition of reversible letters. Previous studies comparing novice and expert readers demonstrated that MG must be inhibited to discriminate reversible single letters...
June 19, 2017: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Gülten Ünal, Annette Hohenberger
The aim of this study was to use a minimalist framework to examine the joint development of past and future episodic cognition and their underlying cognitive abilities in 3- to 5-year-old Turkish preschoolers. Participants engaged in two main tasks, a what-where-when (www) task to measure episodic memory and a future prediction task to measure episodic future thinking. Three additional tasks were used for predicting children's performance in the two main tasks: a temporal language task, an executive function task, and a spatial working memory task...
June 19, 2017: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Sandra Thijssen, Andrea Wildeboer, Marinus H van IJzendoorn, Ryan L Muetzel, Sandra J E Langeslag, Vincent W V Jaddoe, Frank C Verhulst, Henning Tiemeier, Marian J Bakermans-Kranenburg, Tonya White
This study examined situational, psychological, and neurobiological factors associated with deceptive behavior in 8-year-old children. By assessing deception in low- and high-risk conditions, we differentiated between children displaying some dishonesty and children who deceived repeatedly, and we assessed the correlates of deception in 163 children. A large majority of the children were deceptive in the low-risk condition (n=121, 74.2%), but most children refrained from deception when at risk for getting caught (69 of 121)...
June 14, 2017: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Ella Fizke, Stephen Butterfill, Lea van de Loo, Eva Reindl, Hannes Rakoczy
Current theory-of-mind research faces the challenge of reconciling two sets of seemingly incompatible findings: Whereas children come to solve explicit verbal false belief (FB) tasks from around 4years of age, recent studies with various less explicit measures such as looking time, anticipatory looking, and spontaneous behavior suggest that even infants can succeed on some FB tasks. In response to this tension, two-systems theories propose to distinguish between an early-developing system, tracking simple forms of mental states, and a later-developing system, based on fully developed concepts of belief and other propositional attitudes...
June 14, 2017: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Tessa A M Lansu, Wendy Troop-Gordon
Visual attention to high-status peers is well documented, but whether this attentional bias is due to high-status individuals' leadership and prosocial characteristics or due to their more agonistic behaviors has yet to be examined. To identify the affective associations that may underlie visual attention for high-status versus low-status peers, 122 early adolescents (67 girls; Mage=11.0years, SD=0.7) completed a primed attention paradigm. Visual attention was measured using eye tracking as participants looked simultaneously at photographs of two classmates: one nominated by peers as popular and one nominated by peers as unpopular...
June 12, 2017: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
J Gavin Bremner, Alan M Slater, Rachel A Hayes, Uschi C Mason, Caroline Murphy, Jo Spring, Lucinda Draper, David Gaskell, Scott P Johnson
Investigating infants' numerical ability is crucial to identifying the developmental origins of numeracy. Wynn (1992) claimed that 5-month-old infants understand addition and subtraction as indicated by longer looking at outcomes that violate numerical operations (i.e., 1+1=1 and 2-1=2). However, Wynn's claim was contentious, with others suggesting that her results might reflect a familiarity preference for the initial array or that they could be explained in terms of object tracking. To cast light on this controversy, Wynn's conditions were replicated with conventional looking time supplemented with eye-tracker data...
June 12, 2017: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Emily Slusser, Hilary Barth
How children's understanding of numerical magnitudes changes over the course of development remains a key question in the study of numerical cognition. In an ongoing debate about the source of developmental change, some argue that children maintain and access different mental representations of number, with evidence coming largely from common number-line estimation tasks. In contrast, others argue that a theoretical framework based on psychophysical models of proportion estimation accounts for typical performance on these tasks...
June 9, 2017: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Teresa Schubert, Nicholas Badcock, Saskia Kohnen
Letter recognition and digit recognition are critical skills for literate adults, yet few studies have considered the development of these skills in children. We conducted a nine-alternative forced-choice (9AFC) partial report task with strings of letters and digits, with typographical symbols (e.g., $, @) as a control, to investigate the development of identity and position processing in children. This task allows for the delineation of identity processing (as overall accuracy) and position coding (as the proportion of position errors)...
June 9, 2017: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Kyong-Sun Jin, Hyun-Joo Song
Language provides information about our psychological states. For instance, adults can use language to convey information about their goals or preferences. The current research examined whether 14- and 12-month-old infants could interpret a change in an agent's word as signaling a change in her goals. In two experiments, 14-month-olds (Experiment 1) and 12-month-olds (Experiment 2) were first familiarized to an event in which an agent uttered a novel word and then reached for one of two novel objects. During the test trials, the agent uttered a different novel word (different-word condition) or the same word (same-word condition) and then reached for the same object or the other object...
June 9, 2017: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Lamei Wang, Liqi Zhu, Zhenlin Wang
Children can tell lies before they understand the concept of false belief. This study investigated the relationship between parental mind-mindedness, defined as the propensity of parents to view their children as mental agents with independent thoughts and feelings, and the lie-telling behavior of Hong Kong children aged 3-6years. The results confirmed earlier findings indicating that Hong Kong children's understanding of false belief is delayed; nevertheless, the participants appeared to lie just as well as children from other cultures...
June 7, 2017: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Joanna Peplak, Ju-Hyun Song, Tyler Colasante, Tina Malti
This study examined the development of children's decisions, reasoning, and emotions in contexts of peer inclusion/exclusion. We asked an ethnically diverse sample of 117 children aged 4years (n=59; 60% girls) and 8years (n=58; 49% girls) to choose between including hypothetical peers of the same or opposite gender and with or without attention deficit/hyperactivity problems and aggressive behavior. Children also provided justifications for, and emotions associated with, their inclusion decisions. Both 4- and 8-year-olds predominantly chose to include the in-group peer (i...
June 7, 2017: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Young-Suk Grace Kim
The role of working memory in vocabulary acquisition has been well established in the literature. In this study, we proposed and empirically tested the multicomponent view of vocabulary acquisition, which states that multiple language and cognitive skills are involved to facilitate phonological and semantic representations needed for vocabulary acquisition. Working memory and attention were hypothesized to be directly and indirectly related to vocabulary, whereas inference and morphosyntactic knowledge were hypothesized to be directly related to vocabulary (measured by the Picture Vocabulary Test of the Woodcock-Johnson III battery)...
June 7, 2017: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Valerie San Juan, Craig G Chambers, Jared Berman, Chelsea Humphry, Susan A Graham
Two experiments examined whether 5-year-olds draw inferences about desire outcomes that constrain their online interpretation of an utterance. Children were informed of a speaker's positive (Experiment 1) or negative (Experiment 2) desire to receive a specific toy as a gift before hearing a referentially ambiguous statement ("That's my present") spoken with either a happy or sad voice. After hearing the speaker express a positive desire, children (N=24) showed an implicit (i.e., eye gaze) and explicit ability to predict reference to the desired object when the speaker sounded happy, but they showed only implicit consideration of the alternate object when the speaker sounded sad...
June 7, 2017: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Sarah E Berger, Anat Scher
In this first study of the impact of sleep on infants' problem solving of a locomotor task, 28 newly walking infants who were within a week of having given up crawling trained to navigate a shoulder-height tunnel to reach a caregiver waiting at the end. During the transitional window between crawling and walking, infants are reluctant to return to crawling, making this task uniquely challenging. Infants were randomly assigned to either nap or stay awake during a delay between training and a later test session...
June 6, 2017: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Rhiannon L Thomas, Marko Nardini, Denis Mareschal
The ability to use different sensory signals in conjunction confers numerous advantages on perception. Multisensory perception in adults is influenced by factors beyond low-level stimulus properties such as semantic congruency. Sensitivity to semantic relations has been shown to emerge early in development; however, less is known about whether implementation of these associations changes with development or whether development in the representations themselves might modulate their influence. Here, we used a Stroop-like paradigm that requires participants to identify an auditory stimulus while ignoring a visual stimulus...
June 5, 2017: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Anna Waismeyer, Andrew N Meltzoff
Infants learn about cause and effect through hands-on experience; however, they also can learn about causality simply from observation. Such observational causal learning is a central mechanism by which infants learn from and about other people. Across three experiments, we tested infants' observational causal learning of both social and physical causal events. Experiment 1 assessed infants' learning of a physical event in the absence of visible spatial contact between the causes and effects. Experiment 2 developed a novel paradigm to assess whether infants could learn about a social causal event from third-party observation of a social interaction between two people...
June 3, 2017: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Frederick Verbruggen, Rossy McLaren
Response strategies are constantly adjusted in ever-changing environments. According to many researchers, this involves executive control. This study examined how children (aged 4-11years) and young adults (aged 18-21years) adjusted response strategies in a continuous action control task. Participants needed to move a stimulus to a target location, but on a minority of the trials (change trials) the target location changed. When this happened, participants needed to change their movement. We examined how performance was influenced by the properties of the previous trial...
June 1, 2017: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Mark Nielsen, Daniel Haun, Joscha Kärtner, Cristine H Legare
Psychology must confront the bias in its broad literature toward the study of participants developing in environments unrepresentative of the vast majority of the world's population. Here, we focus on the implications of addressing this challenge, highlight the need to address overreliance on a narrow participant pool, and emphasize the value and necessity of conducting research with diverse populations. We show that high-impact-factor developmental journals are heavily skewed toward publishing articles with data from WEIRD (Western, educated, industrialized, rich, and democratic) populations...
May 30, 2017: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Ariana Orvell, Ethan Kross, Susan A Gelman
Prior research indicates that children construe norms as general and construe preferences as individual. The current studies tested whether this expectation is built into how children interpret and use language. We focused on the pronoun you, which is ambiguous between a canonical interpretation (referring to the addressee) and a generic interpretation (referring to people in general). In Study 1, children (N=132, ages 3-10years) were asked a series of questions containing "you," referring to either descriptive norms (e...
May 26, 2017: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Andrew Simpson, Marielle Upson, Daniel J Carroll
Understanding the processes that make responses prepotent is central to understanding the role of inhibitory control in cognitive development. The question of what makes responses prepotent was investigated using the two most widely studied measures of preschoolers' inhibitory control. Across two experiments, 80 children were tested either on a series of stimulus-response compatibility (SRC) tasks or on a series of Go/No-go tasks. Results indicated that high levels of prepotency on SRC tasks (such as the Day/Night task) occur only under specific conditions; making a verbal response can be highly prepotent if the stimulus and response are associated with each other (e...
May 26, 2017: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
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