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ERIC Number: EJ828050
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Apr
Pages: 32
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 78
ISSN: ISSN-1524-8372
Developmental Changes in Switching between Mental Task Sets: The Influence of Verbal Labeling in Childhood
Karbach, Julia; Kray, Jutta
Journal of Cognition and Development, v8 n2 p205-236 Apr 2007
Age-related changes in the use of verbal processes for the efficient switching between tasks were investigated in 5-year-old children (N = 32, M age = 5.9 years) and 9-year-old children (N = 32, M age = 9.4 years). Task switching was assessed by means of a cued switching paradigm to examine two switching components: (a) to maintain and select and (b) to switch between task sets. The aim of this study is to determine (a) developmental changes in both switching components during childhood, (b) whether age-related changes in these components are influenced by verbalizations in terms of "thinking aloud" (Ericsson & Simon, 1993) during task performance, and (c) age changes in the content of the self-verbalizations. Results show an age-related impairment of the 5-year-old group on the level of task-set maintenance and selection. Children mainly verbalized the response labels. However, whereas 5-year-olds more often labeled their perceptions (Zelazo, 1999), 9-year-olds used language to maintain the currently relevant task set. Both age groups relied on the same verbal strategy facilitating task switching, supporting the view that language can be used to plan and guide actions (Luria, 1969). (Contains 4 tables, 4 figures, and 6 footnotes.)
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:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Kindergarten
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A