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ERIC Number: EJ1155170
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 24
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1524-8372
What's That You're Saying? Children with Better Executive Functioning Produce and Repair Communication More Effectively
Bacso, Sarah A.; Nilsen, Elizabeth S.
Journal of Cognition and Development, v18 n4 p441-464 2017
Young children often provide ambiguous referential statements. Thus, the ability to identify when miscommunication has occurred and subsequently repair messages is an essential component of communicative development. The present study examined the impact of listener feedback and children's executive functioning in influencing children's ability to repair their messages. Children (ages 4-6 years) completed a referential communication task, in which they described target pictures among an array of similar distractors for a confederate. Stimuli were designed such that children frequently provided ambiguous descriptions. Subsequently, the listener provided the children with feedback (detailed or vague) that they misunderstood the statement. Children also completed executive functioning tasks (working memory, inhibitory control, and cognitive flexibility). Children with larger working memory capacities and better cognitive flexibility provided more effective initial descriptions of the targets. Children with better cognitive flexibility were also more effective at repairing their statements in response to feedback. Although children provided more effective repairs following detailed feedback (vs. vague feedback), this effect did not significantly interact with the cognitive skills of children. However, limited evidence emerged suggesting that cognitive flexibility may be more important when the listener provides vague feedback.
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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: Canada
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A