Development of gaze aversion as disengagement from visual information.

Doherty-Sneddon, Gwyneth, Bruce, Vicki, Bonner, L., Longbotham, S. and Doyle, C. (2002) Development of gaze aversion as disengagement from visual information. Developmental Psychology, 38 (3). pp. 438-445. ISSN 0012-1649

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Older children, but not younger children, were found to look away more from the face of an interlocutor when answering difficult as opposed to easy questions. Similar results were found in earlier work with adults, who often avert their gaze during cognitively difficult tasks (A. M. Glenberg, J. L. Schroeder, & D. A. Robertson, 1998). Twenty-five 8-year-olds and 26 5-year-olds answered verbal reasoning and arithmetic questions of varying difficulty. The older children increased gaze aversion from the face of the adult questioner in response to both difficult verbal reasoning questions and difficult arithmetic questions. In contrast, younger children (5-year-olds) responded less consistently to cognitive difficulty. It is concluded that adultlike patterns of gaze aversion in response to cognitive difficulty are certainly acquired by 8 years of age. The implications of appropriate gaze aversion for children's management of cognitive processing resources are considered.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: C800 Psychology
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Psychology
Depositing User: EPrint Services
Date Deposited: 06 Jul 2010 14:54
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2021 08:38

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