Children's capacity to remember a novel problem and to secure its future solution

Suddendorf, Thomas, Nielsen, Mark and von Gehlen, Rebecca (2011) Children's capacity to remember a novel problem and to secure its future solution. Developmental Science, 14 1: 26-33. doi:10.1111/j.1467-7687.2010.00950.x

Author Suddendorf, Thomas
Nielsen, Mark
von Gehlen, Rebecca
Title Children's capacity to remember a novel problem and to secure its future solution
Journal name Developmental Science   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1363-755X
Publication date 2011-01
Year available 2010
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1467-7687.2010.00950.x
Volume 14
Issue 1
Start page 26
End page 33
Total pages 8
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Much of humans' success rests on foresight, the ability to predict what will happen or what is needed in the future. Surprisingly little is known about how this faculty develops. In three experiments (N = 170), 3- and 4-year-old children were presented with simple puzzles. Fifteen minutes later in a different room they were given the opportunity to secure a solution to take back to the puzzle. Only the older children performed above chance, whereas both age groups could solve the task in an instant condition. The same pattern of results emerged for another task involving selection of something to 'feed' a puppet whose favorite food was initially unavailable. Control conditions suggest that temporal rather than spatial displacement influenced performance. Verbal reports substantiated the conclusion that by age 4 some children can remember a novel problem sufficiently enough to recognize a solution and select that solution in anticipation of applying it to the problem in the future.
© 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Keyword Mental time-travel
Human mind
Autobiographical memory
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Article first published online: 19 MAR 2010.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2011 Collection
School of Psychology Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 50 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 55 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Sun, 23 Jan 2011, 00:06:36 EST