ERIC Number: ED223331
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Preoperational Children's Temporal/Causal Understanding: Effect of Task.
Sharp, Kay Colby; Waxman, Mindy
To investigate developmental differences, preschoolers' performance on four tasks frequently used to measure their understanding of causal and temporal relationships was studied. Based on an analysis of cognitive processes involved in recognition, completion, construction/seriation, and verbal explanation tasks, the prediction was made that children's temporal/causal understanding would emerge in the following order: recognition, completion, verbal explanation, and construction. Forty-eight preschool children between 3 and 5 years of age, representing a wide range of socioeconomic conditions, were tested in two sessions. All tasks involved three-picture temporal and causal sequences depicting events familiar to preschool children. Experimenters read sentences describing the pictured events aloud, thus removing the demand for children's perceptual encoding of contents. Sequences were presented one at a time. Findings show that preoperational children's ability to demonstrate temporal/causal understanding is significantly affected by the type of task presented and the mode of response required. Investigators found that 3-year-olds demonstrated moderate recognition skills, while 4-year-olds showed moderate completion skills and 5-year-olds exhibited the emergence of verbal explanation and seriation skills. It is concluded that children's ability to demonstrate causal/temporal understanding depends upon the task's demands for representational and mental manipulation skills. (RH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Temporal Causal Understanding
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Southeastern Conference on Human Development (7th, Baltimore, MD, April, 1982).