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ERIC Number: EJ1007230
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Feb
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 33
ISSN: ISSN-0012-1649
The Emergence of Flexible Spatial Strategies in Young Children
Waismeyer, Anna S.; Jacobs, Lucia F.
Developmental Psychology, v49 n2 p232-242 Feb 2013
The development of spatial navigation in children depends not only on remembering which landmarks lead to a goal location but also on developing strategies to deal with changes in the environment or imperfections in memory. Using cue combination methods, the authors examined 3- and 4-year-old children's memory for different types of spatial cues and the spatial strategies that they use when those cues are in conflict. Children were taught to search for a toy in 1 of 4 possible hiding locations. Children were then tested on transformations of the array of locations. The transformations dissociated the different types of cues by putting them in conflict with one another. The authors were especially interested in the use of a majority strategy, by which children choose to search in the location indicated by the greatest number of cue types rather than relying on a preferred cue type. Children's memory for spatial cues and their strategies varied both by age and by experimental setup. In Experiment 1, both 3- and 4-year-old children preferred to use the distinct landmarks coincident with the hiding locations over any other types of cues and showed no use of a majority strategy. However, in Experiment 2, when the coincident landmarks were moved adjacent to the hiding locations, both 3- and 4-year-old children preferred to search in the position of the hiding location relative to the array. Furthermore, 4-year-old children in Experiment 2 showed better memory for individual types of cues and the emergence of a majority strategy. (Contains 2 tables and 4 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California