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Children's analysis of hierarchical patterns: evidence from a similarity judgment task

, : Children's analysis of hierarchical patterns: evidence from a similarity judgment task. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology 63(1): 103-140

Three experiments in this study examined the development of young children's analysis of spatial patterns, specifically hierarchical letter and geometric forms. In a forced choice task, 4- and 6-year-olds and adult subjects chose one of two choice forms as most similar to a target form. Specific stimulus manipulations were introduced to assess children's ability to segment and integrate hierarchically organized information under different conditions. In Experiment 1 adults served as subjects in a computerized version that provided both choice and response latency data. In Experiments 2 and 3 children and adults participated in a pencil and paper version of the forced choice task. Results showed that although children as young as 4 years of age demonstrated substantial analytic competence, their ability to integrate the parts of the spatial array to form a coherent whole was weaker and more easily disrupted than that of the older children and adults.


PMID: 8812036

DOI: 10.1006/jecp.1996.0044

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