ERIC Number: EJ849899
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jul
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 43
Generality with Specificity: The Dynamic Field Theory Generalizes across Tasks and Time Scales
Simmering, Vanessa R.; Spencer, John P.
Developmental Science, v11 n4 p541-555 Jul 2008
A central goal in cognitive and developmental science is to develop models of behavior that can generalize across both tasks and development while maintaining a commitment to detailed behavioral prediction. This paper presents tests of one such model, the Dynamic Field Theory (DFT). The DFT was originally proposed to capture delay-dependent biases in spatial recall and developmental changes in spatial recall performance. More recently, the theory was generalized to adults' performance in a second spatial working memory task, position discrimination. Here we use the theory to predict a specific, complex developmental pattern in position discrimination. Data with 3- to 6-year-old children and adults confirm these predictions, demonstrating that the DFT achieves generality across tasks and time scales, as well as the specificity necessary to generate novel, falsifiable predictions.
Descriptors: Recall (Psychology), Theories, Generalization, Young Children, Adults, Models, Child Behavior, Child Development, Cognitive Development, Short Term Memory, Time
Wiley-Blackwell. 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148. Tel: 800-835-6770; Tel: 781-388-8598; Fax: 781-388-8232; e-mail: email@example.com; Web site: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A