NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1074181
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0009-3920
Knowing When to Be "Rational": Flexible Economic Decision Making and Executive Function in Preschool Children
Lee, Wendy S. C.; Carlson, Stephanie M.
Child Development, v86 n5 p1434-1448 Sep-Oct 2015
Failure to delay gratification may not indicate poor control or irrationality, but might be an adaptive response. Two studies investigated 3.5- and 4.5-year-old children's ability to adapt their delay and saving behavior when their preference (e.g., to delay or not delay) became nonadaptive. In Study 1 (N = 140), children's delay preference was associated with a risk of losing rewards. In Study 2 (N = 142), children's saving preference was associated with an inability to play an attractive game. Whereas baseline delaying and saving preferences were unrelated to a standardized executive function measure, children who switched to their nonpreferred choice scored higher, suggesting flexibility of decision-making may be a more meaningful dependent variable than baseline performance in developmental research on self-control.
Wiley-Blackwell. 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148. Tel: 800-835-6770; Tel: 781-388-8598; Fax: 781-388-8232; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A