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ERIC Number: EJ863005
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jan
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0010-0277
Episodic Future Thinking in 3- to 5-Year-Old Children: The Ability to Think of What Will Be Needed from a Different Point of View
Russell, James; Alexis, Dean; Clayton, Nicola
Cognition, v114 n1 p56-71 Jan 2010
Assessing children's episodic future thinking by having them select items for future use may be assessing their functional reasoning about the future rather than their future episodic thinking. In an attempt to circumvent this problem, we capitalised on the fact that episodic cognition necessarily has a spatial format ([Clayton and Russell, 2009] and [Hassabis and Maguire, 2007]). Accordingly, we asked children of 3, 4, and 5 to chose items they would need to play a game (blow football) from the opposite side of the table on which they had never before played. The crucial item was the box that was needed by children to reach the table from the other side. Over four experiments, we demonstrated that, while children of 3 perform poorly on future questions and children of 5 generally perform quite well, children of 4 years find a question about what they themselves will need to play in the future harder to answer than a similar question posed about another child. We suggest that this result is due to the "growth error" of over-applying newly-developed Level 2 perspective-taking skills (Flavell et al., 1981), which encourages the selection of non-functional items. The data are discussed in terms of perspective-taking abilities in children and of the neural correlates of episodic cognition, navigation, and theory of mind. (Contains 8 figures and 1 table.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A