ERIC Number: EJ777163
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Feb
Reference Count: 0
The Role of Modelling and Request Type on Symbolic Comprehension of Objects and Gestures in Young Children
Striano, Tricia; Rochat, Philippe; Legerstee, Maria
Journal of Child Language, v30 n1 p27-45 Feb 2003
In a first study, we considered whether modelling and the type of an adult's request influenced children's ability at 1;8 and 2;2 to comprehend gestures and replica objects as symbols for familiar objects. In a second study, we evaluated whether modelling and type of request influenced children's ability at 1;8 (N=24) to understand unfamiliar (i.e. unconventional) objects as symbols. Results of Study 1 indicated that children at 2;2 comprehended a gesture as a symbol in the absence of any previous model demonstration. All children comprehended a replica as standing for another object, although modelling marginally improved children's performance at 2;2 and decreased performance at 1;8. In general, the type of request did not influence children's comprehension of gestures or replicas as symbols. Results of Study 2 showed that modelling and request type did not influence children's understanding of objects that are unconventional and novel, as symbols. The studies converge to suggest that symbolic comprehension is a highly context-dependent ability that continues to develop over the second year.
Descriptors: Nonverbal Communication, Toddlers, Cognitive Ability, Cognitive Processes, Context Effect, Modeling (Psychology), Task Analysis
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA.; Max Planck Inst., Nijmegan (Netherlands).
Authoring Institution: N/A