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Appears in Collections:Psychology Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Helping children think: gaze aversion and teaching
Author(s): Phelps, Fiona
Doherty-Sneddon, Gwyneth
Warnock, Hannah
Keywords: Gaze aversion
Child development
Cognitive demand
Gaze (Psychology)
Problem-solving in children
Issue Date: Sep-2006
Date Deposited: 30-May-2008
Citation: Phelps F, Doherty-Sneddon G & Warnock H (2006) Helping children think: gaze aversion and teaching. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 24 (3), pp. 577-588.
Abstract: Looking away from an interlocutor’s face during demanding cognitive activity can help adults answer challenging arithmetic and verbal-reasoning questions (Glenberg, Schroeder, & Robertson, 1998). However, such ‘gaze aversion’ (GA) is poorly applied by 5-year old school children (Doherty-Sneddon, Bruce, Bonner, Longbotham, & Doyle, 2002). In Experiment 1 we trained ten 5-year old children to use GA whilst thinking about answers to questions. This trained group performed significantly better on challenging questions compared to ten controls given no GA training. In Experiment 2 we found significant and monotonic age-related increments in spontaneous use of GA across three cohorts of ten 5-year old school children (M ages: 5;02, 5;06 and 5;08). Teaching and encouraging GA during challenging cognitive activity promises to be invaluable in promoting learning, particularly during early primary years.
DOI Link: 10.1348/026151005X49872

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