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Journal of Experimental Child Psychology

Claire D Monroy, Sarah A Gerson, Sabine Hunnius
The current eye-tracking study investigated whether toddlers use statistical information to make anticipatory eye movements while observing continuous action sequences. In two conditions, 19-month-old participants watched either a person performing an action sequence (Agent condition) or a self-propelled visual event sequence (Ghost condition). Both sequences featured a statistical structure in which certain action pairs occurred with deterministic transitional probabilities. Toddlers learned the transitional probabilities between the action steps of the deterministic action pairs and made predictive fixations to the location of the next action in the Agent condition but not in the Ghost condition...
January 16, 2017: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Joanne Arciuli
This study reports on a new task for assessing children's sensitivity to lexical stress for words with different stress patterns and demonstrates that this task is useful in examining predictors of reading accuracy during the elementary years. In English, polysyllabic words beginning with a strong syllable exhibit the most common or dominant pattern of lexical stress (e.g., "coconut"), whereas polysyllabic words beginning with a weak syllable exhibit a less common non-dominant pattern (e.g., "banana"). The new Aliens Talking Underwater task assesses children's ability to match low-pass filtered recordings of words to pictures of objects...
January 12, 2017: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Michelle Tran, Laura Cabral, Ronak Patel, Rhodri Cusack
Testing infants in the laboratory is expensive in time and money; consequently, many studies are underpowered, reducing their reproducibility. We investigated whether the online platform, Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk), could be used as a resource to more easily recruit and measure the behavior of infant populations. Using a looking time paradigm, with users' webcams we recorded how long infants aged 5 to 8months attended while viewing children's television programs. We found that infants (N=57) were more reliably engaged by some movies than by others and that the most engaging movies could maintain attention for approximately 70% of a 10- to 13-min period...
January 11, 2017: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Satoshi Kanazawa, Nancy L Segal
Recent studies show that human and other mammalian breast milk may be tailored for the sex of the offspring. Such sex bias suggests that opposite-sex twins, who receive breast milk that cannot simultaneously be tailored for both sexes, may be at a disadvantage for growth compared with same-sex twins. An analysis of data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) shows that, controlling for sex, age, birth weight, and zygosity, breastfed same-sex twins are, on average, about 1 inch taller and 12 pounds heavier than their opposite-sex counterparts through adolescence and early adulthood...
January 9, 2017: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Stefanie Schuch, Kerstin Konrad
One can take n-2 task repetition costs as a measure of inhibition on the level of task sets. When switching back to a Task A after only one intermediate trial (ABA task sequence), Task A is thought to still be inhibited, leading to performance costs relative to task sequences where switching back to Task A is preceded by at least two intermediary trials (CBA). The current study investigated differences in inhibitory ability between children and adults by comparing n-2 task repetition costs in children (9-11years of age, N=32) and young adults (21-30years of age, N=32)...
January 6, 2017: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Gabrielle A Strouse, Patricia A Ganea
Transfer from symbolic media to the real world can be difficult for young children. A sample of 73 toddlers aged 17 to 23months were read either an electronic book displayed on a touchscreen device or a traditional print book in which a novel object was paired with a novel label. Toddlers in both conditions learned the label within the context of the book. However, only those who read the traditional format book generalized and transferred the label to other contexts. An older group of 28 toddlers aged 24 to 30months did generalize and transfer from the electronic book...
January 6, 2017: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Vesna Marinović, Sebastian Wahl, Birgit Träuble
Seeking proximity to another person immediately expresses affiliative intentions. These are highly relevant after experiencing social exclusion. Through a novel task, the current study investigated the relation between proximity and observed ostracism during early childhood. A sample of 64 children (Mage=58months) first watched priming videos either depicting ostracism or not. Subsequently, children saw four seats of varying distances from an interactant's seat and chose where to sit. Children who observed social exclusion selected seats with higher proximity...
January 4, 2017: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Craig E Smith, Michael T Rizzo
Young children understand that lying is wrong, yet little is known about the emotions children connect to the acts of lying and confessing and how children's emotion expectancies relate to real-world behavior. In the current study, 4- to 9-year-old children (N=48) heard stories about protagonists (a) committing transgressions, (b) failing to disclose their misdeeds, and (c) subsequently lying or confessing. Younger children (4-5years) expected relatively positive feelings to follow self-serving transgressions, failure to disclose, and lying, and they often used gains-oriented and punishment-avoidance reasoning when justifying their responses...
January 4, 2017: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Alfonso Igualada, Núria Esteve-Gibert, Pilar Prieto
Although research has shown that adults can benefit from the presence of beat gestures in word recall tasks, studies have failed to conclusively generalize these findings to preschool children. This study investigated whether the presence of beat gestures helps children to recall information when these gestures have the function of singling out a linguistic element in its discourse context. A total of 106 3- to 5-year-old children were asked to recall a list of words within a pragmatically child-relevant context (i...
January 3, 2017: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Larisa Heiphetz, Susan A Gelman, Liane L Young
Previous work shows that children view group membership and psychological traits in essentialist terms, perceiving them to be both biologically determined and stable across time. To what extent might individuals view mental states such as beliefs similarly? Given that beliefs are often based on experience and can change across time, one hypothesis is that beliefs on the whole do not elicit essentialism. An alternative hypothesis, however, is that some beliefs may be perceived as inherited and stable over time-characteristics associated with essentialism...
January 2, 2017: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Jenny Yun-Chen Chan, Michèle M M Mazzocco
Spontaneous focus on numerosity (SFON), an attentional process that some consider distinct from number knowledge, predicts later mathematical skills. Here we assessed the "spontaneity" and malleability of SFON using a picture-matching task. We asked children to view a target picture and to choose which of four other pictures matched the target. We tested whether attention to number (defined as number-based matches) was affected by (a) age, (b) the presence of very noticeable (or salient) features among alternative match choices, and (c) the examiner's use of motor actions to emphasize numerosity...
December 28, 2016: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Margaret Echelbarger, Susan A Gelman
An important task that children face is determining the value of items, and two possible cues to value include scarcity and variety. In three studies with 289 children aged 4-12years and 148 adults, we examined the use of these cues to guide choices when making selections among items. At all ages, participants typically preferred varied sets for themselves and others. In contrast, scarce items were rarely preferred to abundant items. However, when in the context of multiple recipients, participants selected scarce and varied items more when items were maximally scarce...
December 27, 2016: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Viridiana L Benitez, Catarina Vales, Rima Hanania, Linda B Smith
Stability and flexibility are fundamental to an intelligent cognitive system. Here, we examined the relationship between stability in selective attention and explicit control of flexible attention. Preschoolers were tested on the Dimension Preference (DP) task, which measures the stability of selective attention to an implicitly primed dimension, and the Dimension Change Card Sort (DCCS) task, which measures flexible attention switching between dimensions. Children who successfully switched on the DCCS task were more likely than those who perseverated to sustain attention to the primed dimension on the DP task across trials...
December 23, 2016: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Katherine M Robinson, Adam K Dubé, Jacqueline-Ann Beatch
Most research on children's arithmetic concepts is based on one concept at a time, limiting the conclusions that can be made about how children's conceptual knowledge of arithmetic develops. This study examined six arithmetic concepts (identity, negation, commutativity, equivalence, inversion, and addition and subtraction associativity) in Grades 3, 4, and 5. Identity (a-0=a) and negation (a-a=0) were well understood, followed by moderate understanding of commutativity (a+b=b+a) and inversion (a+b-b=a), with weak understanding of equivalence (a+b+c=a+[b+c]) and associativity (a+b-c=[b-c]+a)...
December 23, 2016: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Michelle D Leichtman, Kaitlin A Camilleri, David B Pillemer, Carmela C Amato-Wierda, Jennifer E Hogan, Melissa D Dongo
A scientist taught 40 4- to 6-year-old children an interactive science lesson at school. The same day, children talked about the lesson at home with a parent who was naive to the details of what had transpired at school. Six days later, a researcher interviewed children about objects, activities, and concepts that were part of the lesson. Aspects of parents' conversational style (e.g., open-ended memory questions, descriptive language) predicted how much information children provided in talking with them, which in turn predicted children's memory performance 6days later...
December 23, 2016: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Nora Mehl, Sarah Bergmann, Annette M Klein, Moritz Daum, Kai von Klitzing, Annette Horstmann
Impaired self-regulation, especially in food-specific situations, has been linked to childhood obesity. These deficits may be acquired during the development of obesity rather than being a prerequisite thereof. The current study, hence, focused on an at-risk population versus controls. Normal-weight children of obese and normal-weight parents were tested regarding attentional flexibility, emotion regulation, and inhibitory control. A sample of 50 preschoolers of obese parents (n=25) or normal-weight parents (n=25) participated in this study...
March 2017: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Markus Janczyk, Juliane Büschelberger, Oliver Herbort
In dual-task settings, one can find influences from Task 2 processing even on Task 1 performance, an effect referred to as the backward crosstalk effect (BCE). The size of the BCE has been taken as an index of how well Task 1 processing can be shielded against concurrently ongoing Task 2 processes. In the current study, we compared the size of the BCE between adults and a group of 5- and 6-year-old children. First, the BCE turned out to be larger in children than in adults. Second, both groups exhibited a comparable adjustment of behavior in response to just experienced conflict; in both groups, the BCE was smaller following conflict trials than following no-conflict trials...
March 2017: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Diana Su Yun Tham, J Gavin Bremner, Dennis Hay
The role of experience with other-race faces in the development of the other-race effect was investigated through a cross-cultural comparison between 5- and 6-year-olds and 13- and 14-year-olds raised in a monoracial (British White, n=83) population and a multiracial (Malaysian Chinese, n=68) population. British White children showed an other-race effect to three other-race faces (Chinese, Malay, and African Black) that was stable across age. Malaysian Chinese children showed a recognition deficit for less experienced faces (African Black) but showed a recognition advantage for faces of which they have direct or indirect experience...
March 2017: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Stephanie Wermelinger, Anja Gampe, Moritz M Daum
Recent research has demonstrated enhanced communicative abilities in bilingual children compared with monolingual children throughout childhood and in a variety of domains. The processes underlying these advantages are, however, not well understood. It has been suggested that one aspect that particularly stimulates bilinguals' communication skills is their daily experience with challenging communication. In the current study, we investigated whether children's assumed experience with communication failures would increase their skills when it came to repairing communication failure...
March 2017: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Josephine Ross
Self-evaluative emotions depend on internalized social standards and motivate social action. However, there is a lack of empirical research documenting the impact of self-evaluative emotion on 3- and 4-year-olds' prosociality. Extant research relates children's experiences of guilt to empathetic concern and making amends. However, the relationship between guilt and both concern and making amends is potentially reductive. Empathetic concern involves similar bodily expressions to guilt, and amend making is used to distinguish guilt from shame in children...
March 2017: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
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