The limits of young children's understanding of sources of knowledge

Waters, Gillian Margaret (2010). The limits of young children's understanding of sources of knowledge. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.


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Seven experiments determined whether young children's comprehension of aspectuality, when acquired, was robust enough to cope with demands and variations to the task. Four to 5-year-olds were able to choose whether to look or feel to find out information about a hidden item that was identifiable by sight or touch (Experiments 2 & 7). However, they had difficulty when the test question did not directly refer to a perceptual aspect of the target item (Experiment 7). Four to 6-year-olds coped well with irrelevant verbal descriptions of the items included in the test question (Experiments 2 & 3). Five and 6-year-old‟s performed well whether the target had to be discovered or located (Experiment 1) but had difficulty when irrelevant partially differentiating information was included in the array of items (Experiments 3 & 4) and when they received verbal pre-trial experience of the items (Experiments 5 & 6). In conclusion, children depended on their recall of their pre-trial experience of the items, even when it was unnecessary to do so. They had difficulty recognizing the relevance of verbal information and problems recalling it. Hence, their understanding of sources of knowledge is limited until at least 7 years of age.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
School or Department: School of Psychology
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1501 Primary Education
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology


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