The effect of causal chain length on conuterfactual conditional reasoning

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The effect of causal chain length on conuterfactual conditional reasoning. / Beck, Sarah; Riggs, KJ; Gorniak, Sarah.

In: British Journal of Developmental Psychology, Vol. 28, No. 3, 09.2010, p. 505-521.

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@article{789385a3a13a422488b1ae0e8530c231,
title = "The effect of causal chain length on conuterfactual conditional reasoning",
abstract = "We investigated German and Nichols' finding that 3-year-olds could answer counterfactual conditional questions about short causal chains of events, but not long. In four experiments (N = 192), we compared 3- and 4-year-olds' performance on short and long causal chain questions, manipulating whether the child could draw on general knowledge to answer. We failed to replicate German and Nichols' result, finding instead that in two experiments (Experiments 1 and 3) there was no difference in performance on short and long causal chain questions and in two experiments (Experiments 2 and 4) children showed the opposite pattern: short causal chain questions were more difficult than long. These two unexpected patterns of results were replicated in a fifth study (N 97). Children with lower language ability found short causal chains more difficult than long. Performance by children with higher language ability was unaffected by the length of the causal chain they had to consider. We found no evidence that children showed precocious counterfactual thinking when asked about recent events in a causal chain and conclude that counterfactual thinking develops after 4 years of age.",
author = "Sarah Beck and KJ Riggs and Sarah Gorniak",
year = "2010",
month = sep,
doi = "10.1348/026151009X450836",
language = "English",
volume = "28",
pages = "505--521",
journal = "British Journal of Developmental Psychology",
issn = "0261-510X",
publisher = "Wiley",
number = "3",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - The effect of causal chain length on conuterfactual conditional reasoning

AU - Beck, Sarah

AU - Riggs, KJ

AU - Gorniak, Sarah

PY - 2010/9

Y1 - 2010/9

N2 - We investigated German and Nichols' finding that 3-year-olds could answer counterfactual conditional questions about short causal chains of events, but not long. In four experiments (N = 192), we compared 3- and 4-year-olds' performance on short and long causal chain questions, manipulating whether the child could draw on general knowledge to answer. We failed to replicate German and Nichols' result, finding instead that in two experiments (Experiments 1 and 3) there was no difference in performance on short and long causal chain questions and in two experiments (Experiments 2 and 4) children showed the opposite pattern: short causal chain questions were more difficult than long. These two unexpected patterns of results were replicated in a fifth study (N 97). Children with lower language ability found short causal chains more difficult than long. Performance by children with higher language ability was unaffected by the length of the causal chain they had to consider. We found no evidence that children showed precocious counterfactual thinking when asked about recent events in a causal chain and conclude that counterfactual thinking develops after 4 years of age.

AB - We investigated German and Nichols' finding that 3-year-olds could answer counterfactual conditional questions about short causal chains of events, but not long. In four experiments (N = 192), we compared 3- and 4-year-olds' performance on short and long causal chain questions, manipulating whether the child could draw on general knowledge to answer. We failed to replicate German and Nichols' result, finding instead that in two experiments (Experiments 1 and 3) there was no difference in performance on short and long causal chain questions and in two experiments (Experiments 2 and 4) children showed the opposite pattern: short causal chain questions were more difficult than long. These two unexpected patterns of results were replicated in a fifth study (N 97). Children with lower language ability found short causal chains more difficult than long. Performance by children with higher language ability was unaffected by the length of the causal chain they had to consider. We found no evidence that children showed precocious counterfactual thinking when asked about recent events in a causal chain and conclude that counterfactual thinking develops after 4 years of age.

U2 - 10.1348/026151009X450836

DO - 10.1348/026151009X450836

M3 - Article

C2 - 20849031

VL - 28

SP - 505

EP - 521

JO - British Journal of Developmental Psychology

JF - British Journal of Developmental Psychology

SN - 0261-510X

IS - 3

ER -