Why do children lack the flexibility to innovate tools?

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@article{0d5d22b2178a4173a09fa90a93d2bbb4,
title = "Why do children lack the flexibility to innovate tools?",
abstract = "Despite being proficient tool users, young children have surprising difficulty in innovating tools (making novel tools to solve problems). Two experiments found that 4- to 7-year-olds had difficulty on two tool innovation problems and explored reasons for this inflexibility. Experiment 1 (N=51) showed that children's performance was unaffected by the need to switch away from previously correct strategies. Experiment 2 (N=92) suggested that children's difficulty could not easily be explained by task pragmatics or permission issues. Both experiments found evidence that some children perseverated on a single incorrect strategy, but such perseveration was insufficient to explain children's tendency not to innovate tools. We suggest that children's difficulty lies not with switching, task pragmatics, or behavioral perseveration but rather with solving the fundamentally {"}ill-structured{"} nature of tool innovation problems.",
author = "Nicola Cutting and Ian Apperly and Sarah Beck",
year = "2011",
month = mar,
day = "17",
doi = "10.1016/j.jecp.2011.02.012",
language = "English",
journal = "Journal of Experimental Child Psychology",
issn = "0022-0965",
publisher = "Elsevier",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Why do children lack the flexibility to innovate tools?

AU - Cutting, Nicola

AU - Apperly, Ian

AU - Beck, Sarah

PY - 2011/3/17

Y1 - 2011/3/17

N2 - Despite being proficient tool users, young children have surprising difficulty in innovating tools (making novel tools to solve problems). Two experiments found that 4- to 7-year-olds had difficulty on two tool innovation problems and explored reasons for this inflexibility. Experiment 1 (N=51) showed that children's performance was unaffected by the need to switch away from previously correct strategies. Experiment 2 (N=92) suggested that children's difficulty could not easily be explained by task pragmatics or permission issues. Both experiments found evidence that some children perseverated on a single incorrect strategy, but such perseveration was insufficient to explain children's tendency not to innovate tools. We suggest that children's difficulty lies not with switching, task pragmatics, or behavioral perseveration but rather with solving the fundamentally "ill-structured" nature of tool innovation problems.

AB - Despite being proficient tool users, young children have surprising difficulty in innovating tools (making novel tools to solve problems). Two experiments found that 4- to 7-year-olds had difficulty on two tool innovation problems and explored reasons for this inflexibility. Experiment 1 (N=51) showed that children's performance was unaffected by the need to switch away from previously correct strategies. Experiment 2 (N=92) suggested that children's difficulty could not easily be explained by task pragmatics or permission issues. Both experiments found evidence that some children perseverated on a single incorrect strategy, but such perseveration was insufficient to explain children's tendency not to innovate tools. We suggest that children's difficulty lies not with switching, task pragmatics, or behavioral perseveration but rather with solving the fundamentally "ill-structured" nature of tool innovation problems.

U2 - 10.1016/j.jecp.2011.02.012

DO - 10.1016/j.jecp.2011.02.012

M3 - Article

C2 - 21420101

JO - Journal of Experimental Child Psychology

JF - Journal of Experimental Child Psychology

SN - 0022-0965

ER -