The effect of prior experience on children’s tool innovation

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The effect of prior experience on children’s tool innovation. / Whalley, Clare; Cutting, Nicola; Beck, Sarah.

In: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, Vol. 161, 09.2017, p. 81-94.

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@article{f24ee677acc24c50b7e50615cebb3070,
title = "The effect of prior experience on children{\textquoteright}s tool innovation",
abstract = "Spontaneous tool innovation to solve physical problems is difficult for young children. In three studies, we explored the effect of prior experience with tools on tool innovation in children aged 4- to 7- years (n=299). We also gave children an experience more consistent with that experienced by corvids in similar studies, to enable fairer cross-species comparisons. Children who had the opportunity to use a premade target tool in the task context during a warm-up phase were significantly more likely to innovate a tool to solve the problem on the test trial, compared to children who had no such warm-up experience. Older children benefited from either using or merely seeing a premade target tool prior to a test trial requiring innovation. Younger children were helped by using a premade target tool. Seeing the tool helped younger children in some conditions. We conclude that spontaneous innovation of tools to solve physical problems is difficult for children. However, children from 4 years can innovate the means to solve the problem when they have had experience with the solution (visual or haptic exploration). Directions for future research are discussed.",
keywords = "problem solving, cognitive development, innovation, tool use",
author = "Clare Whalley and Nicola Cutting and Sarah Beck",
year = "2017",
month = sep,
doi = "10.1016/j.jecp.2017.03.009",
language = "English",
volume = "161",
pages = "81--94",
journal = "Journal of Experimental Child Psychology",
issn = "0022-0965",
publisher = "Elsevier",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - The effect of prior experience on children’s tool innovation

AU - Whalley, Clare

AU - Cutting, Nicola

AU - Beck, Sarah

PY - 2017/9

Y1 - 2017/9

N2 - Spontaneous tool innovation to solve physical problems is difficult for young children. In three studies, we explored the effect of prior experience with tools on tool innovation in children aged 4- to 7- years (n=299). We also gave children an experience more consistent with that experienced by corvids in similar studies, to enable fairer cross-species comparisons. Children who had the opportunity to use a premade target tool in the task context during a warm-up phase were significantly more likely to innovate a tool to solve the problem on the test trial, compared to children who had no such warm-up experience. Older children benefited from either using or merely seeing a premade target tool prior to a test trial requiring innovation. Younger children were helped by using a premade target tool. Seeing the tool helped younger children in some conditions. We conclude that spontaneous innovation of tools to solve physical problems is difficult for children. However, children from 4 years can innovate the means to solve the problem when they have had experience with the solution (visual or haptic exploration). Directions for future research are discussed.

AB - Spontaneous tool innovation to solve physical problems is difficult for young children. In three studies, we explored the effect of prior experience with tools on tool innovation in children aged 4- to 7- years (n=299). We also gave children an experience more consistent with that experienced by corvids in similar studies, to enable fairer cross-species comparisons. Children who had the opportunity to use a premade target tool in the task context during a warm-up phase were significantly more likely to innovate a tool to solve the problem on the test trial, compared to children who had no such warm-up experience. Older children benefited from either using or merely seeing a premade target tool prior to a test trial requiring innovation. Younger children were helped by using a premade target tool. Seeing the tool helped younger children in some conditions. We conclude that spontaneous innovation of tools to solve physical problems is difficult for children. However, children from 4 years can innovate the means to solve the problem when they have had experience with the solution (visual or haptic exploration). Directions for future research are discussed.

KW - problem solving

KW - cognitive development

KW - innovation

KW - tool use

U2 - 10.1016/j.jecp.2017.03.009

DO - 10.1016/j.jecp.2017.03.009

M3 - Article

VL - 161

SP - 81

EP - 94

JO - Journal of Experimental Child Psychology

JF - Journal of Experimental Child Psychology

SN - 0022-0965

ER -