ERIC Number: EJ1095052
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Abstractor: As Provided
Instrumental and Conventional Interpretations of Behavior Are Associated with Distinct Outcomes in Early Childhood
Clegg, Jennifer M.; Legare, Cristine H.
Child Development, v87 n2 p527-542 Mar-Apr 2016
Four tasks (N = 191, 3- to 6-year-olds) examined the effect of instrumental versus conventional language cues on children's imitative fidelity of a necklace-making activity, their memory and transmission of the activity, and their perceptions of functional fixedness. Children in the conventional condition imitated with higher fidelity, transmitted more of the modeled behavior, and showed higher levels of functional fixedness than children in the instrumental condition. There were no differences in children's memory of the activity between conditions demonstrating that memory alone does not explain differences in imitative fidelity. The data demonstrate that children's interpretation of behavior as instrumental or conventional has wide-ranging implications for what children imitate, what they transmit to others, and how they reason about objects' functions.
Descriptors: Preschool Children, Cues, Task Analysis, Imitation, Memory, Fidelity, Behavior Patterns, Cognitive Processes, Child Development, Language Acquisition, Language Processing
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A