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ERIC Number: EJ940089
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Nov
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0261-510X
Development of Gaze Aversion: Qualitative Changes over the Early School Years
Doherty-Sneddon, Gwyneth; Phelps, Fiona; Clark, Julia
British Journal of Developmental Psychology, v25 n4 p513-526 Nov 2007
Looking away from an interlocutor's face during demanding cognitive activity can help adults and children answer challenging mental-arithmetic and verbal-reasoning questions (Glenberg, Schroeder, & Robertson, 1998; Phelps, Doherty-Sneddon, & Warnock, 2006). Whilst such "gaze aversion" (GA) is used far less by 5-year-old schoolchildren, its use increases dramatically during the first years of primary education, reaching adult levels by 8 years of age (Doherty-Sneddon, Bruce, Bonner, Longbotham, & Doyle, 2002). The current study investigates whether developmental changes also occur in a qualitative aspect of GA--the direction of movement involved in GA shifts. Video data from eighteen 5-year-olds and nineteen 8-year-olds answering verbal and arithmetic questions were analysed for direction of GA. We found very different profiles of direction of GA across the two ages: whilst the 5-year-olds used predominantly rapid multidirectional "flicking" movements and some sustained left lateral movements, the 8-year-olds used predominantly sustained rightward movements. It is concluded that there are concomitant qualitative changes in the nature of GA shifts as well as quantitative increases in the use of GA across these age groups. A model of human attention in face-to-face interaction is discussed, as are implications for the assessment of children's learning and development.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Elementary Education; Primary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A