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Journal of Experimental Child Psychology

A M de Haan, M Smit, S Van der Stigchel, S A Keyner, H C Dijkerman
Both making perceptual judgments about your own body and successfully moving your body through the world depend on a mental representation of the body. However, there are indications that moving might be challenging when your body is changing. For instance, the pubertal growth spurt has been reported to be negatively correlated to motor competence. A possible explanation for this clumsiness would be that when the body is growing fast, updating the body representation may lag behind, resulting in a mismatch between internal body representation and actual body size...
July 9, 2018: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Catarina Vales, Linda B Smith
A large literature shows strong developmental links between early language abilities and later cognitive abilities. We present evidence for one pathway by which language may influence cognition and development: by influencing how visual information is momentarily processed. Children were asked to identify a target in clutter and either saw a visual preview of the target or heard the basic-level name of the target. We hypothesized that the name of the target should activate category-relevant information and, thus, facilitate more rapid detection of the target amid distractors...
July 5, 2018: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Tanja C Roembke, Kelsey K Wiggs, Bob McMurray
Considerable debate in language acquisition concerns whether word learning is driven by domain-general (symbolically flexible) or domain-specific learning mechanisms. Prior work has shown that very young children can map objects to either words or nonlinguistic sounds, but by 20 months of age this ability narrows to only words. This suggests that although symbolically flexible mechanisms are operative early, they become more specified over development. However, such research has been conducted only with young children in ostensive teaching contexts...
July 3, 2018: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Harriet R Tenenbaum, Patrick J Leman, Ana Aznar, Rachel Duthie, Melanie Killen
This study examined children's and adolescents' reasoning about the exclusion of others in peer and school contexts. Participants (80 8-year-olds, 85 11-year-olds, 74 14-year-olds, and 73 20-year-olds) were asked to judge and reason about the acceptability of exclusion from novel groups by children and school principals. Three contexts for exclusion between two groups were systematically varied: unequal economic status, geographical location, and a control (no reason provided for group differences). Regardless of condition, participants believed that exclusion was less acceptable in peer contexts than in school contexts and when children were excluded rather than principals...
June 30, 2018: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Melanie Gangl, Kristina Moll, Chiara Banfi, Stefan Huber, Gerd Schulte-Körne, Karin Landerl
Reading and spelling abilities are thought to be highly correlated during development, and orthographic knowledge is assumed to underpin both literacy skills. Interestingly, recent studies showed that reading and spelling skills can also dissociate. The current study investigated whether spelling skills (indicating orthographic knowledge) are associated with the application of orthographic strategies during reading. We examined eye movements of 137 third- and fourth-graders who were either good or poor readers with or without a spelling deficit: 43 children with typical reading and spelling skills, 28 with isolated spelling deficits, 28 with isolated reading deficits, and 38 with combined reading and spelling deficits...
June 25, 2018: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Lin Zhao, J Jessica Wang, Ian A Apperly
Using "theory of mind" to successfully accommodate differing perspectives during communication requires much more than just acquiring basic theory of mind understanding. Evidence suggests that children's ability to adopt a speaker's perspective continues to develop throughout childhood to adolescence until adulthood. The current study examined the cognitive factors that could account for variations in children's abilities to use a speaker's perspective during language comprehension and whether the same factors contribute to age-related improvements...
June 22, 2018: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Andy Schieler, Melissa Koenig, David Buttelmann
Infants are selective in their learning from others. However, there is only very limited research on the possible factors that shape this selectivity, especially when it comes to the impact of infants' familiarity with the informant and the context. The current study investigated whether 14-month-olds preferred to receive and use information provided by an unfamiliar informant (experimenter) compared with a familiar informant (parent) and whether this pattern depended on the context (home vs. laboratory). We tested infants either in the laboratory (n = 67) or in their home (n = 70)...
June 20, 2018: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Meredith Allen, Conrad Perry, Jordy Kaufman
Young children's willingness to spontaneously help others is the subject of a large body of research investigating the ontogeny of moral behavior and thought. A developing debate centers around the extent to which social factors influence the desire to help. Familiarity with the person needing help is one such factor that varies across many studies but has not been systematically investigated. In Experiment 1, we show that toddlers were significantly more likely to assist a person on an out-of-reach clothespin task when they had previously become familiar with that person...
June 16, 2018: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Mads Poulsen, Carsten Elbro
Cross-sectional studies have established that performance on paired-associate learning (PAL) tasks is associated with reading performance. There are good reasons to expect such a relationship because learning to read involves learning the sounds of individual letters and possibly also sounds of strings of letters (e.g., spelling patterns). However, results from longitudinal studies have been mixed. A closer look at these studies suggests that PAL may be related to development of accuracy rather than speed in reading...
June 16, 2018: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Thierry Nazzi, Linda Polka
The current study used an object manipulation task to explore whether infants rely more on consonant information than on vowel information when learning new words even when the words start with a vowel. Canadian French-learning 20-month-olds, who were taught pairs of new vowel-initial words contrasted either on their initial vowel (opsi/eupsi) or following consonant (oupsa/outsa), were found to have learned the words only in the consonant condition and performed significantly better in the consonant condition than in the vowel condition...
June 16, 2018: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Samantha Gualtieri, Stephanie Denison
In classic examinations of the representativeness heuristic, Kahneman and Tversky (1973) presented adult participants with a description of an individual who fit their stereotype of a typical engineer. Importantly, even when participants were told that the individual was drawn from a sample of 70 lawyers and 30 engineers, they estimated that the individual was an engineer at very high levels, showing that they relied almost exclusively on the personality description. Relying on the representativeness heuristic can lead to base-rate neglect and, thus, biased judgments...
June 15, 2018: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Helen Rodger, Junpeng Lao, Roberto Caldara
Behavioral studies investigating facial expression recognition during development have applied various methods to establish by which age emotional expressions can be recognized. Most commonly, these methods employ static images of expressions at their highest intensity (apex) or morphed expressions of different intensities, but they have not previously been compared. Our aim was to (a) quantify the intensity and signal use for recognition of six emotional expressions from early childhood to adulthood and (b) compare both measures and assess their functional relationship to better understand the use of different measures across development...
June 12, 2018: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Drew Weatherhead, Katherine S White, Ori Friedman
Young children make inferences about speakers based on their accents. Here, we show that these accent-based inferences are influenced by information about speakers' geographic backgrounds. In Experiment 1, 4- to 6-year-olds (N = 60) inferred that a speaker would be more likely to have the same cultural preferences as another speaker with the same accent than a speaker with a different accent; in Experiment 2 (N = 90), children made similar inferences about speakers' friendship preferences. Critically, in both experiments, children were less likely to make accent-based inferences when they were told that the speakers all came from different places (both experiments) or from the same place (Experiment 2)...
June 11, 2018: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Marissa Ogren, Joseph M Burling, Scott P Johnson
Perceiving and understanding the emotions of those around us is an imperative skill to develop early in life. An infant's family environment provides most of their emotional exemplars in early development. However, the relation between the early development of emotion perception and family expressiveness remains understudied. To investigate this potential link to early emotion perception development, we examined 38 infants at 9 months of age. We assessed infants' ability to match emotions across facial and vocal modalities using an intermodal matching paradigm for angry-neutral, happy-neutral, and sad-neutral pairings...
October 2018: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Shahar Dotan, Tami Katzir
Theeffects of text display, specificallywithin-word spacing, on children's reading at different developmental levels has barely been investigated.This study explored the influence of manipulating inter-letter spacing on reading performance (accuracy and rate) of beginner Hebrew readers compared with older readers and of low-achieving readers compared with age-matched high-achieving readers.A computer-based isolated word reading task was performed by 132 first and third graders. Words were displayed under two spacing conditions: standard spacing (100%) and increased spacing (150%)...
October 2018: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Zsofia K Takacs, Adriana G Bus
In a within-participant design, 41 children (mean age = 64 months, range = 50-81) listened to brief stories in four conditions. Written text was present on the screen in all conditions (similar to the typical storybook experience) but combined with other sources of information: (a) only oral narration, (b) oral narration and a picture that was congruent with the narration, (c) oral narration and an incongruent picture, and (d) only a picture but no oral narration. Children's eye movements while looking at the screen were recorded with an eye-tracker...
October 2018: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Tawny Tsang, Marissa Ogren, Yujia Peng, Bryan Nguyen, Kerri L Johnson, Scott P Johnson
We examined mechanisms underlying infants' ability to categorize human biological motion stimuli from sex-typed walk motions, focusing on how visual attention to dynamic information in point-light displays (PLDs) contributes to infants' social category formation. We tested for categorization of PLDs produced by women and men by habituating infants to a series of female or male walk motions and then recording posthabituation preferences for new PLDs from the familiar or novel category (Experiment 1). We also tested for intrinsic preferences for female or male walk motions (Experiment 2)...
September 2018: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Veronica Whitford, Marc F Joanisse
An extensive body of research has examined reading acquisition and performance in monolingual children. Surprisingly, however, much less is known about reading in bilingual children, who outnumber monolingual children globally. Here, we address this important imbalance in the literature by employing eye movement recordings to examine both global (i.e., text-level) and local (i.e., word-level) aspects of monolingual and bilingual children's reading performance across their first-language (L1) and second-language (L2)...
September 2018: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Chiara Gambi, Fiona Gorrie, Martin J Pickering, Hugh Rabagliati
Language processing in adults is facilitated by an expert ability to generate detailed predictions about upcoming words. This may seem like an acquired skill, but some models of language acquisition assume that the ability to predict is a prerequisite for learning. This raises a question: Do children learn to predict, or do they predict to learn? We tested whether children, like adults, can generate expectations about not just the meanings of upcoming words but also their sounds, which would be critical for using prediction to learn about language...
September 2018: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Yi-Chuan Chen, Terri L Lewis, David I Shore, Charles Spence, Daphne Maurer
A simultaneity judgment (SJ) task was used to measure the developmental trajectory of visuotactile simultaneity perception in children (aged 7, 9, 11, and 13 years) and adults. Participants were presented with a visual flash in the center of a computer monitor and a tap on their right index finger (located 20° below the flash) with 13 possible stimulus onset asynchronies (SOAs). Participants reported whether the flash and tap were presented at the same time. Compared with the adult group, children aged 7 and 9 years made more simultaneous responses when the tap led by more than 300 ms and when the flash led by more than 200 ms, whereas they made fewer simultaneous responses at the 0 ms SOA...
September 2018: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
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