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Title:Effects of Distractor Problems and Hints on Transfer and Classification by Young Children (Learning, Preschool, Interference)
Author(s):Crisafi, Maria Ann
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Psychology, Developmental
Abstract:Factors affecting the young preschool child's ability to notice problem similarity and transfer a rule across analogous problems were examined. The problem analogs differed in their surface appearance, but shared common relations for goal and solution. The target problems were drawn from a domain which required the combination of separately learned pieces of information in a new way to reach a goal. When the difficult transfer problem was directly preceded by the relevant analogs, 4 year olds produced the correct solution, in contrast to children who did not receive the prior learning experience. To examine whether 4 year olds could continue to use relational information in the face of competing physical attributes, the target problems were embedded in a sequence with distractor problems. The distractors shared the surface features of one of the target problems, but involved a different goal and solution.
The main findings of this research were that: (a) 4 year olds, but not 3 year olds, demonstrate unaided transfer when the relevant problems are presented together in a sequence; (b) the inclusion of complex distractor tasks disrupts transfer, whereas the inclusion of simple distractors does not; (c) hints are effective in helping children notice problem similarity and thereby promote transfer in the mixed problem series; and (d) categorization of the problems is consistent with transfer performance, and is useful as an indication of the child's representation of the two problem types.
Issue Date:1986
Description:125 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1986.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8623278
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1986

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