Searching and planning: Young children's reasoning about past and future event sequences

Kerry McColgan, Teresa McCormack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

51 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Six experiments examined children's ability to make inferences using temporal order information. Children completed versions of a task involving a toy zoo; one version required reasoning about past events (search task) and the other required reasoning about future events (planning task). Children younger than 5 years failed both the search and the planning tasks, whereas 5-year-olds passed both (Experiments 1 and 2). However, when the number of events in the sequence was reduced (Experiment 3), 4-year-olds were successful on the search task but not the planning task. Planning difficulties persisted even when relevant cues were provided (Experiments 4 and 5). Experiment 6 showed that improved performance on the search task found in Experiment 3 was not due to the removal of response ambiguity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1477-1497
Number of pages21
JournalChild Development
Volume79
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2008

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