ERIC Number: EJ849994
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Mar
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 53
Verbal Self-Instructions in Task Switching: A Compensatory Tool for Action-Control Deficits in Childhood and Old Age?
Kray, Jutta; Eber, Jutta; Karbach, Julia
Developmental Science, v11 n2 p223-236 Mar 2008
This study examined the influence of verbal self-instructions on age differences in task switching. Task-switching ability, measured as the difference between performance in single-task blocks and in mixed-task blocks in which participants switch between two tasks (mixing costs), increases during childhood and decreases in old age. To measure the influence of language on task switching, we compared conditions in which participants either (a) named the next task to be performed (i.e. task-relevant verbalization), (b) verbalized words not related to the task at hand (i.e. task-irrelevant verbalization), or (c) did not verbalize (control condition). Results indicated that mixing costs were substantially reduced under task-relevant verbalization and increased under task-irrelevant verbalization. Moreover, age-related differences in mixing costs were increased when the use of inner speech was disrupted and were reduced when participants performed task-relevant verbalization. These findings suggest that verbal self-instructions are a useful tool for retrieving the next task goal and for reducing action-control deficits in younger children and older adults.
Descriptors: Children, Older Adults, Age Differences, Influences, Verbal Communication, Communication Strategies, Communication (Thought Transfer), Comparative Analysis
Wiley-Blackwell. 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148. Tel: 800-835-6770; Tel: 781-388-8598; Fax: 781-388-8232; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A