Children's competencies with mental rotation: A multicomponent strategy.
AuthorStevens, Sally Joan.
KeywordsSpace perception in children.
Imagery (Psychology) in children.
Cognition in children.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe search for evidence of cognitive abilities in young children that have been previously detected only in the performance of older children and adults has been a target of study by many cognitive developmental psychologists. Early competency views suggest that aspects of cognitive fundamentals are present very early in life and are in some aspects developmentally invariant. Often, the focus of research is on the delineation of the constraints which direct and restrict deployment of early intellectual abilities to illuminate the regularities and patterns in observed developmental change. The purpose of this research was to examine children's proficiency with mental rotation tasks that involved the reorientation of complex multi-component stimuli. Specifically, the existence of stimulus effect and determination of which stimulus components prove problematic under taxing performance conditions was investigated. Sixteen students, eight first graders and eight third graders, participated in a two-choice discrimination task. Each student was assessed individually on 360 test trials in eight 20-minute sessions. Three test conditions included (1) perception, (2) memory, and (3) rotation. Two multi-component stimuli were used in which the experimenter-defined components included (A) an external protrusion on the edge of a circle, and (B) an internal axis system within the interior of the circle. The two stimuli varied in the placement of the internal axes which was either orthogonally or obliquely orientated. Test items in the memory and the rotation conditions included stimuli orthogonally oriented (90°, 180°, 270°) obliquely oriented (45°, 135°, 225°, 315°). Error scores were analyzed in a four-way analysis of variance. A main effect for foil type was found significant with axis foils being more difficult than protrusion foils. Furthermore, a significant four-way interaction effect was detected indicating that as stimulus characteristics and task demands increased in difficulty, performance declined particularly for the younger age group.
Degree ProgramEducational Foundations and Administration