ERIC Number: ED206392
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Direct Labeling, Tester Expectancy and Delay Maintenance Behavior in Preschool Children.
Ritchie, Fiona K.; Toner, Ignatius J.
This study explored the hypotheses that (1) young children told (labeled) directly that they were "patient" by adults would demonstrate more subsequent self-control than children given an irrelevant label, and that (2) adult tester expectations regarding the children's self-control would influence only the subjects given the irrelevant label. The self-control of 22 preschool boys and 26 preschool girls was assessed in a task in which each child's accumulation of candy rewards was made contingent upon the child waiting across a period of time to receive the candy. The longer children waited for the candy, the more candy they received. Preschool children directly labeled beforehand as "patient" demonstrated significantly longer delay of gratification than did preschoolers hearing a remark irrelevant to the task. While children not directly labeled as "patient" were somewhat more sensitive to adult expectations than were labeled children, no significant effect of tester expectancy, main or interactive, was found. The results were interpreted in terms of label-induced changes in the preschool children's self-perceptions which influenced their behavior regardless of tester expectancy. (Author/MP)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: North Carolina Univ., Charlotte.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Maintenance Behavior; Scotland
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the International Society for the Study of Behavioral Development (Toronto, Canada, August 17-21, 1981).