Young children's performance on the balance scale: The influence of relational complexity

Halford, Graeme S., Andrews, Glenda, Dalton, Cherie, Boag, Christine and Zielinski, Tracey (2002) Young children's performance on the balance scale: The influence of relational complexity. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 81 4: 417-445. doi:10.1006/jecp.2002.2665

Author Halford, Graeme S.
Andrews, Glenda
Dalton, Cherie
Boag, Christine
Zielinski, Tracey
Title Young children's performance on the balance scale: The influence of relational complexity
Journal name Journal of Experimental Child Psychology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0022-0965
Publication date 2002-04
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1006/jecp.2002.2665
Volume 81
Issue 4
Start page 417
End page 445
Total pages 29
Place of publication Maryland Heights, MO
Publisher Academic Press
Collection year 2002
Language eng
Subject C1
380101 Sensory Processes, Perception and Performance
Abstract Three experiments investigated the effect of complexity on children's understanding of a beam balance. In nonconflict problems, weights or distances varied, while the other was held constant. In conflict items, both weight and distance varied, and items were of three kinds: weight dominant, distance dominant, or balance (in which neither was dominant). In Experiment 1, 2-year-old children succeeded on nonconflict-weight and nonconflict-distance problems. This result was replicated in Experiment 2, but performance on conflict items did not exceed chance. In Experiment 3, 3- and 4-year-olds succeeded on all except conflict balance problems, while 5- and 6-year-olds succeeded on all problem types. The results were interpreted in terms of relational complexity theory. Children aged 2 to 4 years succeeded on problems that entailed binary relations, but 5- and 6-year-olds also succeeded on problems that entailed ternary relations. Ternary relations tasks from other domains-transitivity and class inclusion-accounted for 93% of the age-related variance in balance scale scores. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science (USA).
Keyword Psychology, Developmental
Psychology, Experimental
Balance Scale
Relational Complexity
Class Inclusion
Transitive Inferences
Processing Capacity
Q-Index Code C1
Additional Notes "Lead article"

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Psychology Publications
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Created: Tue, 14 Aug 2007, 18:21:14 EST