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Functional constraints on young children's object problem solving

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Date Issued:
2012
Summary:
Although some research has suggested that very young children are "immune" to functional fixedness (FF), other work has shown that young children form robust associations between objects and their prescribed functions. Across two studies, I investigated (a) the developmental trajectory of FF and (b) its relationship with executive function components (inhibitory control and working memory) in 3- to 6-year old children. Both older and younger children experience FF, but older children use familiar tools more flexibly than younger children (3- and 4-year olds). Furthermore, inhibitory control was related to overcoming FF, indicating that it may be an important cognitive capacity for creative problem-solving. Finally, in a third study, children were instructed to use mental imagery to help them solve the functional fixedness problems. However, these instructions were ineffective at reducing FF compared to a control condition, underscoring the robust nature of object-function relationships in early childhood.
Title: Functional constraints on young children's object problem solving.
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Name(s): Bidmead, Sarah
Charles E. Schmidt College of Science
Department of Psychology
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Electronic Thesis Or Dissertation
Date Issued: 2012
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University
Physical Form: electronic
Extent: viii, 76 p. : ill. (some col.)
Language(s): English
Summary: Although some research has suggested that very young children are "immune" to functional fixedness (FF), other work has shown that young children form robust associations between objects and their prescribed functions. Across two studies, I investigated (a) the developmental trajectory of FF and (b) its relationship with executive function components (inhibitory control and working memory) in 3- to 6-year old children. Both older and younger children experience FF, but older children use familiar tools more flexibly than younger children (3- and 4-year olds). Furthermore, inhibitory control was related to overcoming FF, indicating that it may be an important cognitive capacity for creative problem-solving. Finally, in a third study, children were instructed to use mental imagery to help them solve the functional fixedness problems. However, these instructions were ineffective at reducing FF compared to a control condition, underscoring the robust nature of object-function relationships in early childhood.
Identifier: 837323537 (oclc), 3359286 (digitool), FADT3359286 (IID), fau:4066 (fedora)
Note(s): by Sarah R. Bidmead.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Florida Atlantic University, 2012.
Includes bibliography.
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
System requirements: Adobe Reader.
Subject(s): Learning, Psychology of
Developmental psychology
Cognition in children
Visual perception in chldren
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/FAU/3359286
Use and Reproduction: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
Host Institution: FAU