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Journal of Experimental Child Psychology

Elena Nava, Luca Rinaldi, Hermann Bulf, Viola Macchi Cassia
There has been compelling evidence favoring the idea that human adults similarly represent number and time along a horizontal mental number line (MNL) and mental time line (MTL), respectively. Yet, analogies drawn between the MNL and MTL have been challenged by recent studies suggesting that adults' representations of number and time arise from different spatial frames of reference; whereas the MNL relies on both hand-centered and object-centered coordinates, the MTL appears to be exclusively anchored on object-centered coordinates...
May 18, 2017: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Quentin Hallez, Sylvie Droit-Volet
Numerous studies have shown that durations are judged shorter in a dual-task condition than in a simple-task condition. The resource-based theory of time perception suggests that this is due to the processing of temporal information, which is a demanding cognitive task that consumes limited attention resources. Our study investigated whether this time contraction in a dual-task condition is greater in younger children and, if so, whether this is specifically related to their limited attention capacities. Children aged 5-7years were given a temporal reproduction task in a simple-task condition and a dual-task condition...
May 18, 2017: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Carrie Georges, Danielle Hoffmann, Christine Schiltz
Considering the importance of mathematics in Western societies, it is crucial to understand the cognitive processes involved in the acquisition of more complex mathematical skills. The current study, therefore, investigated how the quality of number-space mappings on the mental number line, as indexed by the parity SNARC (spatial-numerical association of response codes) effect, relates to mathematical performances in third- and fourth-grade elementary school children. Mathematical competencies were determined using the "Heidelberger Rechentest," a standardized German math test assessing both arithmetical and visuospatial math components...
May 17, 2017: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Abigail Croydon, Themelis Karaminis, Louise Neil, David Burr, Elizabeth Pellicano
Sensory information is inherently ambiguous. The brain disambiguates this information by anticipating or predicting the sensory environment based on prior knowledge. Pellicano and Burr (2012) proposed that this process may be atypical in autism and that internal assumptions, or "priors," may be underweighted or less used than in typical individuals. A robust internal assumption used by adults is the "light-from-above" prior, a bias to interpret ambiguous shading patterns as if formed by a light source located above (and slightly to the left) of the scene...
May 15, 2017: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Qingfen Hu, Jing Liu, Yi Shao
Research suggests that during the first 2years of life, children use an egocentric reference system and an extrinsic reference frame, the latter being one allocentric reference system, to encode locations. However, little is known about children's use of an object's intrinsic structure, another allocentric reference system. The current study focused on the role of the front-back relationship, one of the simplest intrinsic reference frames, in children's location encoding. Children (3- to 5-year-olds) participated in a hide-and-find game with one of three different intrinsic front-back array conditions: a facet-induced front-back array, a motion-induced front-back array, or no array...
May 13, 2017: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Ronan McGarrigle, Piers Dawes, Andrew J Stewart, Stefanie E Kuchinsky, Kevin J Munro
Stress and fatigue from effortful listening may compromise well-being, learning, and academic achievement in school-aged children. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of a signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) typical of those in school classrooms on listening effort (behavioral and pupillometric) and listening-related fatigue (self-report and pupillometric) in a group of school-aged children. A sample of 41 normal-hearing children aged 8-11years performed a narrative speech-picture verification task in a condition with recommended levels of background noise ("ideal": +15dB SNR) and a condition with typical classroom background noise levels ("typical": -2dB SNR)...
May 12, 2017: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Markus Paulus, Miriam Leitherer
Although the development of fairness has become a topic of wide interest, little is known about the correlates and factors that relate to the early ontogeny of fairness-related decision making in preschoolers. The current study assessed 5-year-old children's consideration of existing inequalities in their resource allocation decisions, that is, their tendency to allocate more resources to poor others than to rich others. In addition, children's prosocial responding toward others in pain, the amount of their social interaction experiences, and their social-cognitive abilities were assessed...
May 10, 2017: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Xin Zhao, Tamar Kushnir
Young children demonstrate awareness of normativity in various domains of social learning. It is unclear, however, whether children recognize that rules can be changed in certain contexts and by certain people or groups. Across three studies, we provided empirical evidence that children consider individual authority and collective agreement when reasoning about who can change rules. In Study 1, children aged 4-7years watched videos of children playing simply sorting and stacking games in groups or alone. Across conditions, the group game was initiated (a) by one child, (b) by collaborative agreement, or (c) by an adult authority figure...
May 8, 2017: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Clare L Whalley, Nicola Cutting, Sarah R Beck
Spontaneous tool innovation to solve physical problems is difficult for young children. In three studies, we explored the effect of prior experience with tools on tool innovation in children aged 4-7years (N=299). We also gave children an experience more consistent with that experienced by corvids in similar studies to enable fairer cross-species comparisons. Children who had the opportunity to use a premade target tool in the task context during a warm-up phase were significantly more likely to innovate a tool to solve the problem on the test trial compared with children who had no such warm-up experience...
May 8, 2017: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Tian-Xiao Yang, Weizhen Xie, Chu-Sheng Chen, Mareike Altgassen, Ya Wang, Eric F C Cheung, Raymond C K Chan
This study investigated the development of multitasking ability across childhood. A sample of 65 typically developing children aged 7, 9, and 11years completed two multitasking tests across three time points within a year. Cross-sectional and longitudinal data consistently indicated continuous linear growth in children's multitasking ability. By the age of 12years, children could effectively perform a simple multitasking scenario comprising six equally important tasks, although their ability to strategically organize assorted tasks with varied values and priorities in a complex multitasking setting had not reached proficiency yet...
May 5, 2017: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Arber Tasimi, Marcia K Johnson, Karen Wynn
When children's self-interests are at odds with their moral considerations, what do they do? In the current study of 5- and 6-year-olds (N=160), we asked (a) whether children would select the offering of a do-gooder over a neutral individual at a personal cost, (b) whether they would reject the offering of a wrongdoer over a neutral individual at a personal cost, and (c) whether these two types of decisions involve comparable levels of conflict. In the absence of material considerations, children preferred a nice character to a neutral one, but this preference was easily overcome for material gain; children accepted a larger offering from a neutral source over a smaller offering from a nice source...
May 4, 2017: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Lucia Colombo, Simone Sulpizio, Francesca Peressotti
The study describes the developmental trend of transposed letters (TL) effects in a lexical decision task. The TL effect refers to the fact that nonwords derived from words by transposing two middle letters (e.g., talbe from table) are responded to more slowly than control nonwords in which two letters are replaced (RL [replaced letters]; e.g., tafde). We measured this effect in three groups of children (second, third, and fifth graders) and a group of adults. Length was manipulated with short letter strings (four or five letters) and long letter strings (seven or eight letters)...
May 4, 2017: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Monika Wörle, Markus Paulus
This study investigated preschool children's normative expectations about the fair distribution of resources. We examined whether preschool children have a norm of charity, that is, a norm to give more to poor individuals than to wealthy individuals. To this end, we presented 3- to 6-year-olds (N=81) with two different resource allocation situations. In one situation, an agent complied with a norm of charity by allocating more resources to a poor recipient than to a rich recipient. In the other situation, a different agent violated the norm by allocating more resources to a wealthy recipient...
May 3, 2017: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Krisztina Kupán, Ildikó Király, Kinga Kupán, Kata Krekó, Ádám Miklósi, József Topál
Certain aspects of a demonstration have been shown to influence infants' interpretation of an observational situation and result in selective imitation. Studying social factors that trigger selective imitation may improve our understanding of how infants encode certain situations. However, only a few studies have investigated the possible interactions among these factors. In our study, 18-month-old infants (N=54) observed an adult demonstrator retrieve a toy from under an opaque ("baited") container by manipulating another transparent empty one...
May 2, 2017: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Catherine E Laing
A perceptual advantage for iconic forms in infant language learning has been widely reported in the literature, termed the "sound symbolism bootstrapping hypothesis" by Imai and Kita (2014). However, empirical research in this area is limited mainly to sound symbolic forms, which are very common in languages such as Japanese but less so in Indo-European languages such as English. In this study, we extended this body of research to onomatopoeia-words that are thought to be present across most of the world's languages and that are known to be dominant in infants' early lexicons...
April 28, 2017: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Jenny L Richmond, Jenna Zhao, Gabrielle Weidemann
Preferences have a profound impact on our behavior; however, relatively little is known about how preference formation works early in life. Evaluative conditioning occurs when the valence of an initially neutral object changes when it is paired with a positively or negatively valenced stimulus. It is possible that evaluative conditioning may account for early preference learning; however, the extent to which this kind of learning operates during infancy has not been empirically tested. The aim of the current studies was to assess whether infants' preferences for neutral objects is influenced by pairing them with affective stimuli (Experiment 1: happy vs...
April 27, 2017: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Kathleen H Corriveau, Cara J DiYanni, Jennifer M Clegg, Grace Min, Jason Chin, Jad Nasrini
Across two studies, we explored cultural differences in children's imitation and transmission of inefficient actions. Chinese American and Caucasian American preschoolers (N=115) viewed either one or three models using two inefficient tools to perform two different tasks. In the video, when the model(s) performed the task, only the inefficient tool was available; thus, their choice to use that tool could be considered rational. Next, children were invited to complete the task with either the inefficient tool or an efficient alternative...
April 26, 2017: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Lior Abramson, Ella Daniel, Ariel Knafo-Noam
This study examined whether children's values, global and abstract motivations serving as guiding principles, are organized similarly to those of adults, whether values can predict individual differences in children's sharing behaviors, and whether the normative nature of the situation influences the expression of these individual differences. Children (N=243, ages 5-12years) participated in a values ranking task as part of a visit to a science museum. The majority of children (n=150) also participated in a task examining costly sharing (i...
April 22, 2017: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Zoe Liberman, Lauren H Howard, Nathan M Vasquez, Amanda L Woodward
Although children demonstrate robust social preferences for ingroup members early in ontogeny, it is not yet clear whether these preferences are based on children generally liking people who are more familiar or on children holding specific biased beliefs about people in their ingroup as compared with people in their outgroup. Here, we investigated the origins of humans' propensity to link ingroup members with positive behaviors and outgroup members with negative behaviors by asking whether linguistic group membership influences children's expectations of how people will act...
April 9, 2017: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Danka Purić, Jasmina Vuksanović, Vasiliki Chondrogianni
Previous studies with bilingual children have shown that the nature of their second-language instruction has an effect on the development of their cognitive abilities. The aim of this study was to determine whether children who acquire a second language in two different immersion programs for a period of 1year show advantages in executive functions and to examine how the amount of daily exposure affects executive functions. A group of Serbian-speaking second-grade children exposed to the second language for about 5h each day (high exposure group, HEG) and a low-exposure group (LEG) exposed to the second language for about 1...
March 27, 2017: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
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