Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Appears in Collections:Psychology Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Gaze Aversion During Children's Transient Knowledge and Learning
Author(s): Doherty-Sneddon, Gwyneth
Phelps, Fiona G
Calderwood, Lesley
Contact Email:
Keywords: Gaze aversion
Transient knowledge
Problem-solving in children
Performance in children Psychological aspects
Interpersonal communication in children
Face perception Psychological aspects
Issue Date: Jul-2009
Date Deposited: 7-Aug-2009
Citation: Doherty-Sneddon G, Phelps FG & Calderwood L (2009) Gaze Aversion During Children's Transient Knowledge and Learning. Cognition and Instruction, 27 (3), pp. 225-238.
Abstract: Looking away from an interlocutor’s face during demanding cognitive activity can help adults and children answer challenging mental arithmetic and verbal-reasoning questions (Glenberg, Schroeder, & Robertson, 1998; Phelps, Doherty-Sneddon, & Warnock, 2006). While such “gaze aversion” (GA) is used far less by 5-year old school children, its use increases dramatically during the first years of primary education, reaching adult levels by 8-years of age (Doherty-Sneddon, Bruce, Bonner, Longbotham, & Doyle, 2002). Furthermore GA increases with increasing mental demands, with high levels signalling that an individual finds material being discussed challenging but remains engaged with it (Doherty-Sneddon et al., 2002; Doherty-Sneddon & Phelps, 2006). In the current study we investigate whether patterns of gaze and gaze aversion during children’s explanations can predict when they are in states of transient knowledge (Karmiloff-Smith 1992; Goldin-Meadow, Kim, & Singer, 1999). In Study 1, fifty-nine 6-year-olds took part and completed a “Time Task” along with periodic teaching intervention to improve their comprehension of telling the time. Some children improved immediately, whereas others did so more gradually. The gradual improvers showed the highest levels of GA, particularly when they were at an intermediate level of performance. In Study 2, thirty-three 6-year-old children completed a balance beam task (Pine & Messer, 2000). Children who improved the representational level of their explanations (Karmiloff-Smith, 1992) of this task with training used more GA than those who did not. Practical implications for teaching and for recognizing transient knowledge states are discussed.
DOI Link: 10.1080/07370000903014329
Rights: Published in Cognition and Instruction by Taylor & Francis (Routledge).; This is an electronic version of an article published in Cognition and Instruction, Volume 27, Issue 3, July 2009, pp. 225 - 238. Cognition and Instruction is available online at:

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
Doherty_CI_0329-08-Final-b1.pdfFulltext - Accepted Version128.9 kBAdobe PDFView/Open

This item is protected by original copyright

Items in the Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.

The metadata of the records in the Repository are available under the CC0 public domain dedication: No Rights Reserved

If you believe that any material held in STORRE infringes copyright, please contact providing details and we will remove the Work from public display in STORRE and investigate your claim.