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Journal of Experimental Child Psychology

Rebecca-Lee Kuhnert, Sander Begeer, Elian Fink, Marc de Rosnay
Although key differences have been found in boys' and girls' prosocial behavior toward peers, few studies have systematically examined gender differences in how intrinsic perspective-taking abilities-theory of mind (ToM) and emotion understanding (EU)-and the extrinsic peer environment relate to prosocial behavior. In this prospective longitudinal study, we studied gender differences in the relations between children's observed prosocial behavior and their ToM, EU, and social preference ratings in 114 children (58 boys and 56 girls)...
October 22, 2016: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Connor H G Patros, R Matt Alderson, Kristen L Hudec, Stephanie J Tarle, Sarah E Lea
Changes in motor activity were examined across control and executive function (EF) tasks that differ with regard to demands placed on visuospatial working memory (VS-WM) and self-control processes. Motor activity was measured via actigraphy in 8- to 12-year-old boys with (n=15) and without (n=17) attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) during the completion of VS-WM, self-control, and control tasks. Results indicated that boys with ADHD, relative to typically developing boys, exhibited greater motor activity across tasks, and both groups' activity was greater during EF tasks relative to control tasks...
October 21, 2016: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Frances Buttelmann, David Buttelmann
The ability to attribute and represent others' mental states (e.g., beliefs; so-called "theory of mind") is essential for participation in human social interaction. Despite a considerable body of research using tasks in which protagonists in the participants' attentional focus held false or true beliefs, the question of automatic belief attribution to bystander agents has received little attention. In the current study, we presented adults and 6-year-olds (N=92) with an implicit computer-based avoidance false-belief task in which participants were asked to place an object into one of three boxes...
October 11, 2016: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Alena G Esposito, Patricia J Bauer
For children to build a knowledge base, they must integrate and extend knowledge acquired across separate episodes of new learning. Children's performance was assessed in a task requiring them to self-generate new factual knowledge from the integration of novel facts presented through separate lessons in the classroom. Whether self-generation performance predicted academic outcomes in reading comprehension and mathematics was also examined. The 278 participating children were in kindergarten through Grade 3 (mean age=7...
October 8, 2016: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Wilma C M Resing, Merel Bakker, Christine M E Pronk, Julian G Elliott
The current study investigated developmental trajectories of analogical reasoning performance of 104 7- and 8-year-old children. We employed a microgenetic research method and multilevel analysis to examine the influence of several background variables and experimental treatment on the children's developmental trajectories. Our participants were divided into two treatment groups: repeated practice alone and repeated practice with training. Each child received an initial working memory assessment and was subsequently asked to solve figural analogies on each of several sessions...
October 6, 2016: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Bianca Jovanovic, Gudrun Schwarzer
One effect that illustrates how people adjust aspects of their grasping according to situational constraints is the grasp height effect; when reaching for objects positioned at different heights, adults' grasp height (vertical position of the hand on the object) tends to correlate negatively with object height. This indicates that grasp positions are planned so that they facilitate later placements of the object. The current study investigated the development of the grasp height effect with 3-year-old children, 5-year-old children, and adults...
October 1, 2016: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Katalin Tamási, Cristina McKean, Adamantios Gafos, Tom Fritzsche, Barbara Höhle
This study introduces a method ideally suited for investigating toddlers' ability to detect mispronunciations in lexical representations: pupillometry. Previous research has established that the magnitude of pupil dilation reflects differing levels of cognitive effort. Building on those findings, we use pupil dilation to study the level of detail encoded in lexical representations with 30-month-old children whose lexicons allow for a featurally balanced stimulus set. In each trial, we present a picture followed by a corresponding auditory label...
September 29, 2016: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Tobias Grossmann, Sarah Jessen
Much research has focused on how infants respond to emotional facial expressions. One of the key findings in this area of research is that by 7months of age, but not younger, infants show a bias in processing fearful faces even when compared with other negative and novel facial expressions. A recent study by Heck and colleagues (Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 2016, Vol. 147, pp. 100-110) challenges this idea by showing that 5-month-olds looked longer at fearful faces than at happy and at neutral faces when dynamic displays (videos) are used...
September 27, 2016: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Karin M Vander Heyden, Mariette Huizinga, Maartje E J Raijmakers, Jelle Jolles
The current study investigated development and strategy use of spatial perspective taking (i.e., the ability to represent how an object or array of objects looks from other viewpoints) in children between 8 and 12years of age. We examined this ability with a task requiring children to navigate a route through a model city of wooden blocks from a 90° and 180° rotated perspective. We tested two hypotheses. First, we hypothesized that children's perspective-taking skills increase during this age period and that this process is related to a co-occurring increase in working memory capacity...
September 27, 2016: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Alison Heck, Alyson Hock, Hannah White, Rachel Jubran, Ramesh S Bhatt
Adults exhibit enhanced attention to negative emotions like fear, which is thought to be an adaptive reaction to emotional information. Previous research, mostly conducted with static faces, suggests that infants exhibit an attentional bias toward fearful faces only at around 7months of age. In a recent study (Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 2016, Vol. 147, pp. 100-110), we found that 5-month-olds also exhibit heightened attention to fear when tested with dynamic face videos. This indication of an earlier development of an attention bias to fear raises questions about developmental mechanisms that have been proposed to underlie this function...
September 26, 2016: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Elizabeth A Ware
This study bridges prior research on young children's use of taxonomic versus thematic relations to categorize objects with prior research on their use of shared shape versus shared function to categorize artifacts. Specifically, this research examined associations in children's categorization tendencies across these two dichotomies, including assessments of individual differences, developmental trends, and vocabulary level. Preschoolers (3- to 5-year-olds) completed a receptive vocabulary assessment and two match-to-sample tasks: one pitting (superordinate) taxonomic and thematic relations against each other and one pitting shape and function similarity against each other...
September 26, 2016: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
David J Purpura, Sara A Schmitt, Colleen M Ganley
The current study investigated the relations between the three cognitive processes that comprise executive functioning (EF)-response inhibition, working memory, and cognitive flexibility-and individual components of mathematics and literacy skills in preschool children. Participants were 125 preschool children ranging in age from 3.12 to 5.26years (M=4.17years, SD=0.58). Approximately 53.2% were female, and the sample was predominantly Caucasian (69.8%). Results suggest that the components of EF may be differentially related to the specific components of early mathematics and literacy...
September 24, 2016: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Jennifer M Clegg, Cristine H Legare
Children use imitation flexibly to acquire the instrumental skills and conventions of their social groups. This study (N=69 parent and 3- to 6-year-old child dyads) examined the impact of instrumental versus conventional language on (a) children's imitative flexibility in the context of parent-child interaction and (b) how parents scaffold children's imitation. Children in dyads presented with conventional language imitated with higher fidelity than children in dyads presented with instrumental language. Parents in dyads presented with conventional language also provided their children with more instruction to imitate and engaged in more encouragement, demonstration, and monitoring than parents in dyads presented with instrumental language...
September 24, 2016: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Hayley C Leonard, Elisabeth L Hill
Previous research has suggested that infant motor skills may be affected by older siblings but has not considered whether this is due to specific characteristics of the older sibling or of the quality of the sibling relationship. The current study used a longitudinal diary method to record infant motor milestones from 23 infants with older siblings along with parent reports and standardized assessments of motor skills. Parent reports of the older siblings' motor skills and the sibling relationship were also collected until the infants were 18months old...
December 2016: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Stéphane Bernard, Thomas Castelain, Hugo Mercier, Laurence Kaufmann, Jean-Baptiste Van der Henst, Fabrice Clément
Recent research has shown that young children rely on social cues to evaluate testimony. For instance, they prefer to endorse testimony provided by a consensual group than by a single dissenter. Given that dominance is pervasive in children's social environment, it can be hypothesized that children also use dominance relations in their selection of testimony. To test this hypothesis, a dominance asymmetry was induced between two characters either by having one repeatedly win in physical contests (physical power; Experiment 1) or by having one repeatedly impose her goals on the other (decisional power; Experiment 2)...
December 2016: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Amanda Williams, Chris Moore
Unfairness in resource allocation situations can present itself in two ways, with one person receiving either less or more than another person. Research suggests that aversion to situations of disadvantageous inequality (DI), in which a child receives less than a peer, develops differently from aversion to advantageous inequality (AI), in which a child receives more than a partner. However, little is known about how AI aversion and DI aversion develop as well as how the relationship between the two may change over time...
December 2016: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Imogen Long, Stephanie A Malone, Anne Tolan, Kelly Burgoyne, Michelle Heron-Delaney, Kate Witteveen, Charles Hulme
Following on from ideas developed by Gerstmann, a body of work has suggested that impairments in finger gnosis may be causally related to children's difficulties in learning arithmetic. We report a study with a large sample of typically developing children (N=197) in which we assessed finger gnosis and arithmetic along with a range of other relevant cognitive predictors of arithmetic skills (vocabulary, counting, and symbolic and nonsymbolic magnitude judgments). Contrary to some earlier claims, we found no meaningful association between finger gnosis and arithmetic skills...
December 2016: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Joonkoo Park, Vanessa Bermudez, Rachel C Roberts, Elizabeth M Brannon
Math proficiency at early school age is an important predictor of later academic achievement. Thus, an important goal for society should be to improve math readiness in preschool-age children, especially in low-income children who typically arrive in kindergarten with less mathematical competency than their higher income peers. The majority of existing research-based math intervention programs target symbolic verbal number concepts in young children. However, very little attention has been paid to the preverbal intuitive ability to approximately represent numerical quantity, which is hypothesized to be an important foundation for full-fledged mathematical thinking...
December 2016: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Louise Delane, Donna M Bayliss, Catherine Campbell, Corinne Reid, Noel French, Mike Anderson
Two alternative theoretical explanations have been proposed for the difficulties with executive functioning observed in children born very preterm (VP; ⩽32 weeks): a general vulnerability (i.e., in attentional and processing capacities), which has a cascading impact on increasingly complex cognitive functions, and a selective vulnerability in executive-level cognitive processes. It is difficult to tease apart this important theoretical distinction because executive functioning tasks are, by default, complex tasks...
December 2016: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Jordan T Thevenow-Harrison, Charles W Kalish
What do children learn from biased samples? Most samples people encounter are biased in some way, and responses to bias can distinguish among different theories of inductive inference. A sample of 67 4- to 8-year-old children learned to make conditional predictions about a set of sample items. They then made predictions about the properties of new instances or old instances from the training set. The experiment compared unbiased and biased sampling. Given unbiased samples, participants used what they learned to make predictions about population and sample instances...
December 2016: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
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