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Analogical Reasoning and Executive Control Develop Together in Preschool-Aged Children Analogical Reasoning and Executive Control Develop Together in Preschool-Aged.

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Presentation on theme: "Analogical Reasoning and Executive Control Develop Together in Preschool-Aged Children Analogical Reasoning and Executive Control Develop Together in Preschool-Aged."— Presentation transcript:

1 Analogical Reasoning and Executive Control Develop Together in Preschool-Aged Children Analogical Reasoning and Executive Control Develop Together in Preschool-Aged Children Abstract We investigated the relation between analogical reasoning and executive control. Forty-two preschoolers completed simple and complex analogies and executive control tasks. Performance on executive control tasks predicted performance on complex but not simple analogies. We conclude that the solution of complex analogies depends upon the development of executive control abilities.Introduction Research has established that preschoolers can solve simple analogies of the form A:B::C:D. However, early abilities may be limited. Young children often have difficulty solving analogy problems that involve multiple relational changes. We hypothesized that the development of executive control abilities may be essential for mature analogical reasoning. Current work investigated the relative influence age and executive control on preschoolers ability to solve simple and complex analogies. Methods Forty-two 3- to 5-year-olds participated 6 simple and complex picture analogies of the form A : B :: C : ?. Simple problems : 1 relational change (spilling) Complex problems: 2 relational changes (spilling & breaking). Karen Singer-Freeman & Andrea Capalbo, Purchase College Executive control assessed with 4 measures Dimensional Card Sort: Children sort first using one dimension and then using the other. Whisper: Children whisper the names of popular characters as quickly as possible. Bear/Dragon: Children follow instructions from the king and ignore instructions from the dragon. Gift Delay: Children must cover their eyes and turn around while a gift is wrapped for 2 minutes.Results Overall, children performed better on simple analogy problems than complex ones. Both 4- and 5-year-olds performed systematically in response to simple analogy problems. Only 5-year-olds performed systematically in response to complex analogy problems. Errors Simple problems Most likely to select the identity or surface similarity error Complex problems Most likely to select single change or surface similarity Correlations Age in months correlated significantly with performance on all tasks except the Whisper task. Performance on Complex analogies was correlated with Age in Months (.64***) Simple analogies (.46*) Bear/Dragon task (.35*) Gift Delay task (.49**) Latency of the Gift Delay task (.51**) The only predictors of performance on Simple analogies problems were Age in months (.45*) Complex analogies (.46*) Stepwise Regression In order to determine the relative contributions of each variable, we calculated a step-wise regression where performance on Complex analogies was our dependent variable and the independent variables were: performance on the Bear/Dragon task, the Gift Delay task, the Dimensional Change Card Sort task, the Whisper task, and latency of the Gift Delay task. We found that only Age in Months and Latency scores contributed significantly to the variance of scores on Complex analogies (R 2 =.50).Discussion These results support our hypothesis that the development of executive control abilities is related to the development of analogical reasoning abilities in preschool-aged children. We found that as age increased, so did performance on all tasks. However, the consideration of a childs ability to inhibit the desire to peek during the gift delay task (latency measure) improved our ability to predict performance on complex analogies beyond a consideration of age alone. This finding raises the possibility that the development of inhibition may be especially important for the development of analogy reasoning.


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