This study intended to clarify developmental changes of causal schemata in ability and effort attributions of academic attainment, and to examine individual differences in the development of causal schemata by comparing underachievers and overachievers. In the first study, we made a pair comparison questionnaire designated as Inference Test consisting of three parts. First, the subjects were asked to infer academic attainments of two hypothetical persons described on the level of their abilities and efforts, and to indicate the one who would gain higher academic attainments. Second, the subjects were requested to answer which person would have higher ability after being given information on the level of academic attainment and effort of two hypothetical persons. Third, the subjects imagined two hypothetical persons reading information on the level of their academic attainment and ability, and were asked to infer which person would have made more effort. The subjects were 26 third graders, 27 fourth graders, 41 fifth graders and 40 sixth graders in an elementary school, and 66 university students as adults. Our analysis of the data led to the following results. 1. Regarding with inference of academic attainment from ability and effort information, most of the third graders could use the so-called graded schema when they were given information on two persons of similar ability but different on effort. That is to say, they would believe the person making more effort would gain higher academic attainment. But two third of the third graders could not use the graded schema when shown information on two persons different on ability but equal on effort. 2. In the case of comparing two hypothetical persons' ability according to the given academic attainment and effort information, most of the fourth graders could use the magnitude covariation schema, which was confirmed by the positive relation between the given degrees of success and the inferred degrees of ability (or effort). Most of the third and fourth graders thought that, when two hypothetical persons performed equally well, the one who exerted more effort was also more capable. This could mean that the so-called hallo schema tended to be used. About 70 percent of all sixth graders, however, possessed the inverse compensation schema leading to the inference that, if an effect remained invariant, a change in the magnitude of one cause was accompanied by a compensating change in the magnitude of a second cause. 3. As for inferring effort from academic attainment and ability information, the magnitude-covariation schema was used by more than 80 percent of the third graders, with an inverse compensation schema emerging among the fourth and fifth graders. In general, the subjects could use more complex causal schemata when inferring effort than when inferring ability. In the second study, the subjects were underachievers and overachievers in a junior high school; the study aimed at comparing these two groups from a developmental standpoint of an inverse compensation schema. Another questionnaire like Inference Test was made asking the subjects the degree of one cause (i. e., ability or effort) about a hypothetical person having information on the level of academic attainment and other cause (i. e., effort or ability respectively). The data were analyzed separately in success and failure situations, classified on the basis of the level of academic attainment. In comparing overachievers and underachievers in relation to the use of the inverse compensation schema, the former could use the schema significantly more frequently than the latter when ability was inferred. This suggests that causal schemata in overachievers was more highly developed than in underachievers. When effort was inferred, however, the two groups were not different.
What properties does children's time concept have in the preschool age? Young children's time concept may include a concrete, sequential structure based on their everyday activities from morning to night. In this paper I examined the psycohological reality of that ‘life time ’ structure, utilizing theories and experimental paradigms of ‘script ’ research. In the 1st experiment, 35 young children (4; 4-6; 2) described their everyday activities. Fourteen main events were identified. These events might be regarded as core events of ‘ life time script ’. In the 2nd experiment using 32 four-and five-yearolds as subjects, first, the result of the 1st experiment was replicated. Second, the children told how “a friend in the same nursery school” spent his/her time from morning to night. The result was almost the same as when they described their own life, decreasing only in the number of described events. Third, the children were presented a simple story about everyday events. They recalled more script-based events and inferred more scriptally important events not actually presented in the original story. Fourty five four-to six-year-olds participated in the 3rd experiment. First, the result of the story realled in the 2nd experiment was replicated. Second, the children arranged in the right order, randomly presented, fifteen picture cards each depicting a main everyday event. The experimenter pointed the getting- out-of-bed card as a staring point in the first trial, and the going-to-nursery-school card in the second. The second trial was more difficult than the first. Older children arranged better than younger children in the second trial. Six-yean-old children performed almost parfectly. Through these experiments, the evidence was that young children structured their everyday activities according to ‘life time script ’. This life time script held several main events as core. These events had a certain sequential nature, especially cyclical, peculiar to time concept. It was also found that young children use the life time script in various inferences, for example, when they infer a friend's everyday life or recall a simple story concerning everyday events.
This study examined the effect of input modality in spatial transformation task. In a previous study (Sasaki, 1981), input modality had not affected the performance of perspective transformation in adult subjects; the present work was to analyse this modality effect developmentally. The two most important theoretical standpoints of the nature and the development of imagery have been advanced by Piaget & Inhelder (1966) and by Kosslyn (1978a, b). Piaget seemed to rule out the notion that images were derived from perception and developmentally it was operative aspect of cognition that produced changes in imagery. Kosslyn claimed imagery was a quasi-pictorial (perceptual) representation and suggested that young children tended to use imagery more than adults do. The former seemed to hypothesize that input modality did not affect spatial transformation in children while the latter considered this effect as probable. To clarify this theoretical problem was the second purpose of this experiment. Subjects were 119 children (57 boys and 62 girls) from 7 to 12 years old. The subjects at each age level were equally divided into two (only 7 years old) or three groups and assigned to one of the three input conditions: visual, haptic and verbal. In the first phase, subjects were presented with information about objects placed randomly on a board (FIG. 1). They identified those objects visually, haptically (touch and movement) and verbally. In haptic and verbal conditions, children were blindfolded. After a practice session with one object, the subjects were told to locate the position of the other three objects (simple reconstruction trials) and then, to imagine that he/she had moved to a position behind the other object and to make similar evaluation of the imagined position (perspective transformation trials). In simple reconstruction trials, a few differences were found. The difference of the three groups were no more than 10 degrees level (FIG. 2). But on perspective transformation trials, a highly significant interaction between age and input modality was found. The basic data were 12 angle setting produced by a subject in each of the mental manipulation tasks. These angle settings were converted into physical representations as FIG. 3. The number of triangles formed in the physical representation constructed from S's angle setting provided a global index of S's ability to manipulate mentally (FIG. 4). The second dependent measures were setting categories. There were 5 categories. 1) Correct: all settings were with in 10 degrees level. 2) Subcorrect: with in 30 degrees. 3) Degree error: degree error included over 30 degree error but positions of four objects were coordinated at last. 4) Position erro r: positions of four objects were uncoordinated and without any order. 5) Egocentric error. The proportions of each category with age in the input conditions shown in FIG. 5. These results suggested that there were developmental stage in the development of spatial transformation. This developmental stage was found in two dependent measures in the visual and haptic conditions, and response time (FIG. 6) in the verbal condition. And this developmental stage appeared at different ages in three input conditions. In visual condition, it was found at age 10 and at 11 in haptic condition. Hence, it may be concluded that: 1. The development of spatial transformation depended on the changes of underlying cognitive structure. 2. But being affected by the input modality, visual information had some superiority. 3. Thus its development was well understood by the interaction of underlying cognitive structure and the information having visual or spatial mode.
Attention is considered to be one of the main processes supporting human cognitive activity. Moreover, the ability to select critical or relevant information and ignore others is considered to be a condition for successful task performance, and is usually thought to be related to the executivefunctioning deterted after “the five to seven shift”. In Exp. 1, the attentional processes in Hagen's central-incidental learning tasks were analyzed by using eye-tracking data, which seemed to reflect attentional behavior more directly than memory performance data. The eye-movements of 72 children (kindergarteners: 21, 2nd graders: 25, 6th graders: 26) were recorded while working on the tasks. Results: (1) the number of fixations on the central atimuli in 2nd graders was significantly greater than the kindergarteners; (2) a significant decrease in the number of fixation shifts between the central and incidental stimuli as the age increased. Such results seemed to imply that sufficient attention allocation did not appear below 2nd grade. It was also observed that even the 6th graders who fixated least on incidental stimuli, still fixated at least twice on incidental stimuli. Therefore, to assume that some information processing entering the memory process had occurred during the fixation period was relevant. Susk observance implied that the recall performance measure alone did not completely reflect the attentional processes in the entering period. In Exp. 2, the recognition scores of the central and incidental stimuli of another group of subjects were compared with the obtained scores in Exp. 1. In the recognition test, all subjects in three age groups showed more than 50% of correct responses to the incidental stimuli. This result supported the assumption made in Exp. 1. Through the above experiments, it was suggested that information selection was carried out in two processing stages: first, attention was devoted to the input stimuli, then followed by selective memorization.
The purpose of this research was to examine young children's psychological prosess during production stories. At first, two goals were studied in experiment I: the first goal was to find out what effects a story from the daily life or a fancy story, might have on the performance of story production ; the second goal was to clarify developmental changes in children's storyproduction. Eighty 4-year-old and 5-year -old children were divided into 2 homogeneous groups (20 Ss each) at each age level, and assigned to one of two conditions: i. e. a daily life story or a fancy story. Each child heard twice a story providing the information of settings and protagonist's goals, and was asked to complete the story. In order to collect adults' normative protocols, 185 college students were assigned to one of the two conditions randomly. Each story protocol was analyzed in terms of (1) the number of idea units,(2) the coherent connections between episodic chunks, and (3) the story structure according to the narrative categories (exposition, complication, or resolution) developed by Kintsch (1977). The main findings were as follows: First, in terms of consistence and coherence of the story structure, the performance of 4-year-old children were much poorer than 5-year-old children under a fancy story condition. Thus, the facility of production of stories seemed to depend on the function of available world and procedural knowledge acquired through experiences. Second, adults protocols of daily life stories were put into five types of story structures, and the fancy stories were divided into eight types. All types were identified in children's protocols and closely matched the adults data. But there were significant differences between children and adults, i. e. adults often produced complete structures made of more complex and elaborated episodes than children. These suggest that first, children have some foundamental logical structures from early childhood; second, the facility with which individuals can choose and use their knowledge on the world and itsprocess may increase the progress. Next, the two points were investigated in experiment II; the first point was to clarify how children organize stories, i. e. what strategies they use in story construction; the second point was to confirm the results of the experiment I. One hundred and twenty 4-year-old and 5-year-old children were divided into 3 homogeneous groups (20 Ss each) at each age level, and assigned to one of three conditions; H gr.(was presented ten sentences with a fancy story beginning and a happy endingsentence), U gr.(was presented the ten sentences and an unhappy endingsentence), and C gr.(was presented the ten sentencesonly). The task of H and U conditions was to complete the story byconnecting the beginning and the end, and that of C condition was to be the same as experiment I. The main results were as follows: First, 5-yearold children could complete coherent stories in any conditions, but 4-year-old children could not generate coherent stories under H and U conditions. This result was interpreted in terms of the development of planning competence in story construction, i. e. this suggests that 5-year-old children can use either global plot plan strategies or local plan (what-next) strategies, but 4-year-old cannot use plot plan strategies. Second, exclusive of uncodable protocols of 4-year-old, and other protocols were identified with eight types of story structures. This confirmed the second finding of experiment I.