ERIC Number: ED058603
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1971-Dec
Reference Count: 0
Selective Attention in Four-, Eight-, and Twelve-Year-Old Children. Final Report.
Hale, Gordon A.
Recent theoretical analyses have implied that there may be age differences in children's tendency to exercise component selection, i.e., to attend selectively to a single component of stimulus objects in a learning situation. In the present study, 6 experiments were conducted, each designed to investigate developmental changes in component selection across ages 4, 8, and 12. In the first of 2 principal experiments, children's tendency to exercise component selection was found to decrease from ages 4 to 8, and this result contrasted with a lack of change over this age range in children's incidental learning. These results suggest that, by age 8, children tend to utilize redundant stimulus information when it is a useful aid for learning as in a component selection task, but are also able to ignore such information when it is nonfunctional or "incidental." The second of the 2 major experiments examined component selection at varying levels of training. As the children learned the task, they were found to maintain attention to secondary stimulus information as well as to the more salient component of the stimuli; thus, the children's attention did not appear to become more selective as learning proceeded to criterion. Also, overtraining did not generally tend to "broaden" attention as expected. (Author/TA)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC. Bureau of Research.
Authoring Institution: Educational Testing Service, Princeton, NJ.