ERIC Number: ED224573
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Aug
Children's Recognition of Plans in the Behavior of Other Actors.
Walton, Marsha D.; Sedlak, Andrea J.
An investigation of children's tendencies to infer planfulness from the behavior of other actors revealed systematic differences in the responses of kindergarten and second-grade children to questions about the motives, goals, and knowledge of story characters. Participating in the study were 13 boys and 13 girls attending public school (15 kindergarteners and 11 second graders). Twelve simple story sequences illustrated by four colored pictures were used in four versions, each of which varied an actor's knowledge about a critical event that either had occurred or would occur depending on when the actor entered the scene. Each of the four versions consisted of one of the following sequences: plan, surprise, bad luck, or anomalous. One or 2 weeks after hearing 8 of the 12 stories and performing a memory task, subjects were told the remaining 4 stories, including 1 in each of the 4 story conditions. A semi-structured interviewing technique was used to probe children's understanding of the actor's goals, motives, knowledge, and beliefs. After the interview, the children were asked to retell the stories they had been told. Audiotapes of the interviews were transcribed and independently coded. Four contrast scores were formed for each dependent variable; these were analyzed by one-way analysis of variance, with grade as the independent variable. Results are discussed. (Author/RH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association (90th, Washington, DC, August 23-27, 1982).