Helping children think: Gaze aversion and teaching

Phelps, Fiona, Doherty-Sneddon, Gwyneth and Warnock, Hannah (2006) Helping children think: Gaze aversion and teaching. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 24 (3). pp. 577-588. ISSN 0261-510X

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Looking away from an interlocutor's face during demanding cognitive activity can help adults answer challenging arithmetic and verbal-reasoning questions (Glenberg, Schroeder, & Robertson, 1998). However, such `gaze aversion' (GA) is poorly applied by 5-year-old school children (Doherty-Sneddon, Bruce, Bonner, Longbotham, & Doyle, 2002). In Experiment 1 we trained ten 5-year-old children to use GA while thinking about answers to questions. This trained group performed significantly better on challenging questions compared with 10 controls given no GA training. In Experiment 2 we found significant and monotonic age-related increments in spontaneous use of GA across three cohorts of ten 5-year-old school children (mean ages: 5;02, 5;06 and 5;08). Teaching and encouraging GA during challenging cognitive activity promises to be invaluable in promoting learning, particularly during early primary years.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: C800 Psychology
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Psychology
Depositing User: EPrint Services
Date Deposited: 06 Jul 2010 14:40
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2023 12:33

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