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Journal of Experimental Child Psychology

Alexandra Zax, Emily Slusser, Hilary Barth
What do numerical estimates tell us about developing an understanding of number? One theory is that bounded number line estimation (NLE) tasks reveal a "representational shift" from logarithmically to linearly organized mental representations of number over development. According to a different theoretical framework, developmental change in estimation reflects changes in children's numerical knowledge and their ability to make appropriate relative judgments. Empirical support for this "proportion estimation" framework includes the fact that quantitative models of proportion estimation describe signature patterns of estimation bias...
May 17, 2019: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Leher Singh, See Kim Seet
There is increasing interest in the influence of language input during children's early years. Over the first 3 years of life, children are highly sensitive to the quantity and quality of language input they receive. The focus of this study was on whether learning a different language in the early years affects the acquisition of English over the longer term. In this study, we investigated effects of foreign language (Hokkien) caregiving on the eventual acquisition of English as well as on memory traces of Hokkien...
May 16, 2019: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Luis M Rojo-Bofill, Alejandro Ortiz-Roldán, Alba Moreno-Giménez, Luis Rojo-Moreno, Isidro Vitoria, Patricia Correcher, Isabel Bofill-Moscardó, Máximo Vento, Ana García-Blanco
Overweight during childhood constitutes a high-risk factor for adult obesity. An abnormal attention to food stimuli (i.e., a bias) has been suggested as an underlying mechanism to the onset and/or maintenance of obesity. Previous literature supports the existence of a biased attention toward food stimuli in adults with obesity. However, it is unknown whether this attentional bias occurs in high-risk children for adult obesity. We aimed to examine attentional biases to food at different stages of attention processing in overweight children...
May 14, 2019: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Madison L Pesowski, Patricia Kanngiesser, Ori Friedman
In three experiments, we investigated whether 2- and 3-year-olds (N = 240) consider ownership when taking resources for themselves and allocating resources to another agent. When selecting resources for themselves, children generally avoided taking resources that belonged to another agent and instead favored their own resources (Experiments 1 and 2). However, they did not avoid taking the agent's resources when the only other resources available were described as not belonging to the agent (Experiment 3)...
May 13, 2019: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
M M P G Noten, K B Van der Heijden, S C J Huijbregts, S H M Van Goozen, H Swaab
Research indicates that impaired empathy is a risk factor of aggression and that social attention is important for empathy. The role of social attention in associations between empathy and aggression has not yet been fully elucidated. Therefore, indicators of affective empathy, cognitive empathy, social attention, and aggression were simultaneously assessed in children aged 45 months. A total of 61 mother-child dyads participated in a lab visit, during which maternal reports of aggression were obtained. Children watched three clips showing a sad, scared, and happy child, respectively, and a neutral social clip while heart rate was recorded...
May 13, 2019: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Xin Yang, Yarrow Dunham
The current studies (total N = 151) experimentally manipulated meaningfulness in novel social groups and measured any resulting ingroup biases. Study 1 showed that even when groups were arbitrary and presumptively meaningless, 5- to 8-year-old children developed equally strong ingroup biases as children in more meaningful groups. Study 2 explored the lengths required to effectively reduce ingroup biases by stressing the arbitrariness of the grouping dimension. Even in this case, ingroup bias persisted in resource allocation behavior, although it was attenuated on preference and similarity measures...
May 11, 2019: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Josefine Karlsson, Dietsje Jolles, Arnout Koornneef, Paul van den Broek, Linda Van Leijenhorst
In two experiments, we examined 9- to 12-year-old children's comprehension and processing of two-clause sentences with a temporal connective (before or after) in the sentence-medial or sentence-initial position. We obtained measures of individual differences in working memory (WM) capacity and WM updating to test their contributions to comprehension. We measured the accuracy of children's responses to the questions "What happened first?" (Experiment 1; N = 74) and "What happened last?" (Experiment 2; N = 50) as well as their sentence reading times...
May 8, 2019: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Yi Ting Huang, Erin Hollister
During spoken language comprehension, young children have difficulties in revising incorrect predictions about the structural properties of sentences. Recent research on individual differences suggests that these errors may reflect immature cognitive control. However, this evidence overlooks challenges with interpreting cross-task correlations and additional effects of linguistic knowledge on developmental parsing. To account for within-individual variation in task performance, this study compared sentence comprehension across two samples: one where socioeconomic status (SES) background was related to global language knowledge (Diagnostic Evaluation of Language Variation-Screening Test; n = 60) and another where it was related to cognitive control abilities (Stroop task; n = 46)...
April 27, 2019: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Annie Brandes-Aitken, Stephen Braren, Margaret Swingler, Kristin Voegtline, Clancy Blair
There are many avenues by which early life poverty relates to the development of school readiness. Few studies, however, have examined the extent to which sustained attention, a central component of self-regulation in infancy, mediates relations between poverty-related risk and cognitive and emotional self-regulation at school entry. To investigate longitudinal relations among poverty-related risk, sustained attention in infancy, and self-regulation prior to school entry, we analyzed data from the Family Life Project, a large prospective longitudinal sample (N = 1292) of children and their primary caregivers in predominantly low-income and nonurban communities...
April 27, 2019: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Svenja Hammerstein, Sebastian Poloczek, Patrick Lösche, Patrick Lemaire, Gerhard Büttner
The current study investigated how children's working memory updating processes influence arithmetic performance and strategy use. Large samples of third and fourth graders were asked to find estimates of two-digit addition problems (e.g., 42 + 76). On each problem, children could choose between the rounding-down strategy (i.e., rounding both operands down to the closest decades) or the rounding-up strategy (i.e., rounding both operands up to the closest decades). Four tasks were used to assess updating...
April 27, 2019: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Dongjie Xie, Meng Pei, Yanjie Su
The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between preschoolers' cognitive abilities and their fairness-related allocation behaviors in a dilemma of equity-efficiency conflict. In Experiment 1, 4- to 6-year-olds (N = 99) decided how to allocate five reward bells. In the first-party condition, preschoolers were asked to choose among giving more to self (self-advantageous inequity), wasting one bell (equity), or giving more to other (self-disadvantageous inequity); in the third-party condition, they chose either to allocate the extra bell to one of two equally deserving recipients or to waste it...
April 25, 2019: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Mihaela Taranu, Marina C Wimmer, Josephine Ross, Dávid Farkas, Raymond van Ee, István Winkler, Susan L Denham
The phenomenon of perceptual bistability provides insights into aspects of perceptual processing not normally accessible to everyday experience. However, most experiments have been conducted in adults, and it is not clear to what extent key aspects of perceptual switching change through development. The current research examined the ability of 6-, 8-, and 10-year-old children (N = 66) to switch between competing percepts of ambiguous visual and auditory stimuli and links between switching rate, executive functions, and creativity...
April 25, 2019: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Natalya Kaganovich, Elizabeth Ancel
The ability to use visual speech cues does not fully develop until late adolescence. The cognitive and neural processes underlying this slow maturation are not yet understood. We examined electrophysiological responses of younger (8-9 years) and older (11-12 years) children as well as adults elicited by visually perceived articulations in an audiovisual word matching task and related them to the amount of benefit gained during a speech-in-noise (SIN) perception task when seeing the talker's face. On each trial, participants first heard a word and, after a short pause, saw a speaker silently articulate a word...
April 20, 2019: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Michael Kavšek, Stephanie Braun
This habituation-dishabituation study examined infants' perception of subjective von Szily contours, the illusory effect of which is generated by horizontal disparity and half-occlusions. In these contours, a foreground surface appears to partially occlude a background surface. In Experiment 1, participants aged 4 and 5 months were habituated to a von Szily figure and were then tested for their ability to perceive the difference between the habituation figure and the same figure with reversed depth relations...
April 20, 2019: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Babett Voigt, Sabina Pauen, Sabrina Bechtel-Kuehne
Following the literature, children younger than 8 years rarely innovate a tool. Theories on innovation and comparative research on tool manufacturing suggest that children's performance may depend on the task context. The current study explored whether preschool children's poor performance in past research could be attributed to short time limits and the required manufacturing method. In four experiments, 5-year-olds needed to retrieve a toy from a tube by manufacturing a novel tool and using it successfully...
April 15, 2019: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Philippe A Chouinard, Kezia G Matheson, Kayla A Royals, Oriane Landry, Gavin Buckingham, Elizabeth J Saccone, Darren R Hocking
We examined how the strength of the size-weight illusion develops with age in typically developing children. To this end, we recruited children aged 5-12 years and quantified the degree to which they experienced the illusion. We hypothesized that the strength of the illusion would increase with age. The results supported this hypothesis. We also measured abilities in manual dexterity, receptive language, and abstract reasoning to determine whether changes in illusion strength were associated with these factors...
April 13, 2019: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Mirjam Ebersbach, Dörthe Malkus, Andreas Ernst
Acting ecologically sustainably and not exhausting natural resources is becoming more and more important. Sustainable behavior can be investigated within the conceptual frame of resource dilemmas, in which users share a common, slowly regenerating resource. A conflict emerges between maximizing one's own profit and maintaining the resource for all users. Although many studies have investigated adults' behavior in resource dilemmas, barely anything is known about how children deal with such situations and which factors affect their behavior...
April 12, 2019: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Zoe Liberman, Alex Shaw
Friendship fundamentally shapes interactions, and predicting other people's affiliations is crucial for effectively navigating the social world. We investigated how 3- to 11-year-old children use three cues to reason about friendship: propinquity, similarity, and loyalty. In past work, researchers asked children to report on their own friendships and found a shift from an early focus on propinquity to a much later understanding of the importance of loyalty. Indeed, attention to loyalty was not standard until adolescence...
April 8, 2019: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Lorraine E Bahrick, Myriah E McNew, Shannon M Pruden, Irina Castellanos
Prosody, or the intonation contours of speech, conveys emotion and intention to the listener and provides infants with an early basis for detecting meaning in speech. Infant-directed speech (IDS) is characterized by exaggerated prosody, slower tempo, and elongated pauses, all amodal properties detectable across the face and voice. Although speech is an audiovisual event, it has been studied primarily as a unimodal auditory stream without the synchronized dynamic face of the speaker. According to the intersensory redundancy hypothesis, redundancy across the senses facilitates perceptual learning of amodal information, including prosody...
April 4, 2019: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Stephanie A Malone, Verena E Pritchard, Michelle Heron-Delaney, Kelly Burgoyne, Arne Lervåg, Charles Hulme
Numerosity discrimination tasks (judging which of two random dotarrays contains the larger number) have been widely used as a measure of the efficiency of an approximate number system (ANS) and are a correlate of early arithmetic skills. Recently, it has been suggested that the relationship between numerosity discrimination and arithmeticis explained by inhibition rather than the ANS. We assessed this hypothesis in astudy of 496 children (mean age = 81.23 months) using numerosity discrimination tasks that manipulated the congruency between surface area and numerosity...
March 29, 2019: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
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