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Appears in Collections:Psychology Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Children’s understanding of ambiguous figures: Which cognitive developments are necessary to experience reversal?
Author(s): Doherty, Martin
Wimmer, Marina
Keywords: Ambiguous figures
Children Cognitive psychology Ambiguity
Imagery (Psychology) Children Case studies
Children Perception
Issue Date: Sep-2005
Date Deposited: 29-May-2008
Citation: Doherty M & Wimmer M (2005) Children’s understanding of ambiguous figures: Which cognitive developments are necessary to experience reversal?. Cognitive Development, 20 (3), pp. 407-421.
Abstract: In two experiments involving 138 3- to- 5-year-olds we examined the claim that a complex understanding of ambiguity is required to experience reversal of ambiguous stimuli (Gopnik & Rosati, 2001). In Experiment 1 a novel Production task measured the ability to acknowledge both interpretations of ambiguous figures. This was as easy as and significantly correlated with a False Belief task, and easier than a Droodle task. We replicated this finding in Experiment 2, and also found that perceiving reversal of ambiguous figures was harder than either the False Belief or Production tasks. In contrast to previous findings, the Reversal and Droodle tasks were not specifically related. We conclude that children only attempt reversal once they can understand the representational relationship between the figure and its two interpretations. The process resulting in reversal however is hard, probably requiring additional developments in executive functioning and imagery abilities.
DOI Link: 10.1016/j.cogdev.2005.05.003
Rights: Published in Cognitive development by Elsevier.

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