ERIC Number: EJ810775
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-May
Reference Count: 14
On Tool Use, Perseveration and Task Dynamics
Lockman, Jeffrey L.
Infancy, v13 n3 p279-283 May 2008
For many decades, tool use has been viewed primarily as a cognitive achievement, an ability that separates not only adults and older children from infants, but humans from virtually all other species. According to this standard account, tool use and associated means-ends behaviors are dependent on symbolic or representational thinking. Organisms must be able to imagine how to use an object or artifact as a tool to accomplish a goal. Likewise, successful means-ends behavior hinges on the ability to foresee how an action will lead to the achievement of some instrumental end. Organisms not capable of representational thinking are fated to long stretches of trial-and-error behavior. For the prerepresentational thinker, success is a sometime thing: inefficient, fleeting, and by no means guaranteed. In this article, the author comments on Smitsman and Cox's article on tool use and means-ends behavior in young children.
Descriptors: Cognitive Development, Object Manipulation, Behavior, Individual Differences, Infants, Task Analysis
Psychology Press. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site: http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A