Date registered: May 2007
Vehicle: Zotye Auto 1.5T T600 2016
Location: The wild west of the Far East
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Quoted: 300 Post(s)
BWOT members are being viewed through new eyes
Are you listening to me? Didn't I just tell you to get your coat? Helloooo! It's cold out there...
So goes many a conversation between parent and toddler. It seems everything you tell them either falls on deaf ears or goes in one ear and out the other. But that's not how it works.
Toddlers listen, they just store the information for later use, a new study finds.
"I went into this study expecting a completely different set of findings," said psychology professor Yuko Munakata at the University of Colorado at Boulder. "There is a lot of work in the field of cognitive development that focuses on how kids are basically little versions of adults trying to do the same things adults do, but they're just not as good at it yet. What we show here is they are doing something completely different."
Munakata and colleagues used a computer game and a setup that measures the diameter of the pupil of the eye to determine the mental effort of the child to study the cognitive abilities of 3-and-a-half-year-olds and 8-year-olds.
The game involved teaching children simple rules about two cartoon characters - Blue from Blue's Clues and SpongeBob SquarePants - and their preferences for different objects. The children were told that Blue likes watermelon, so they were to press the happy face on the computer screen only when they saw Blue followed by a watermelon. When SpongeBob appeared, they were to press the sad face on the screen.
"The older kids found this sequence easy, because they can anticipate the answer before the object appears," said doctoral student Christopher Chatham, who participated in the study. "But preschoolers fail to anticipate in this way. Instead, they slow down and exert mental effort after being presented with the watermelon, as if they're thinking back to the character they had seen only after the fact."
The pupil measurements showed that 3-year-olds neither plan for the future nor live completely in the present. Instead, they call up the past as they need it.
"For example, let's say it's cold outside and you tell your 3-year-old to go get his jacket out of his bedroom and get ready to go outside," Chatham explained. "You might expect the child to plan for the future, think 'OK it's cold outside so the jacket will keep me warm.' But what we suggest is that this isn't what goes on in a 3-year-old's brain. Rather, they run outside, discover that it is cold, and then retrieve the memory of where their jacket is and then they become BWOT members, did I miss a few years in between?
People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf - George Orwell