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ERIC Number: ED111498
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1975-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Overt Verbalization and Delay Maintenance Behavior in Preschool Children.
Toner, Ignatius J.; Smith, Romayne A.
The present study was conducted to determine if overt self-verbalization by the child during the waiting period would influence his delay maintenance behavior when the delayed reward was present. Subjects were 60 preschool girls in the age range of 33-72 months. Fifteen subjects were randomly assigned to each of four experimental conditions: (1) rule verbalization, (2) neutral verbalization, (3) reward verbalization, (4) no verbalization. In each condition a supply of M&M candy rewards was placed one by one on the table at 5-second intervals until the child took them or told the experimenter to stop. Possession of the accumulating candy rewards was made contingent on the child's stopping any further accumulation. (The child had previously been told that all the candy put on the table would belong to him or her.) The child was told to overtly verbalize a specific utterance whenever the light was on. A red signal light operated by the experimenter was used as a cue for the overt verbalizations. Findings indicated that overt self-verbalizations by preschool girls during the waiting period significantly influenced their delay maintenance behavior. Results are discussed in terms of attending behavior, and it is noted that verbal mediation is facilitative only for younger children. It is suggested that subject-governed self-control mechanisms could result in increased stability of self-control in children. (GO)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (Denver, Colorado, April 10-13, 1975)