The aim of this study was (1) to confirm the phenomenon (a) that the children from 4 to 7 years old tend to change an intransive verb sentence into a corresponding transitive one ; (2) to test the basic idea of the transformational generative grammar, and (3) to know when these two sentences can be distinguished. The phenomenon (a) was confirmed and it was found that children sometimes change a transitive verbsentence into an intransitive one: (phenomenon (b)) but both phenomena were consistent with the interpretation of transformational generative grammar. The phenomenon (a) was explained by the assumption that there was an ‘agent’ in the underlying structure: ([+agentiveness]). And the phenomenon (b) was found as an ‘experimenter’ instead of ‘agent’: ([-agentiveness]). It was concluded that it is difficult for children to generate an intransitive verb sentence whose underlying structure was of [+agentiveness], and a transitive one, [-agentiveness].
In order to solve a problem in science or mathematics, it is generally thought necessary to remember the relevant rules and apply them to the problem correctly. Also, understanding the meaning of the problem situation is indispensable, and to do so a reasoning schema is used. Junior high school students solved problems of photosynthesis with different kinds of explanations. The explanations of the meaning of the problem situation were believed to improve students' problem-solving, and the result was interpreted as an evidence of the existence of the reasoning schema. Moreover it was shown that the reasoning shema was independent of the specific domains, and called up by recognizing what scene the problem was concerned with: for example, a making something from something scene. The implications of the above findings were discussed.
This study examined the effects of self-questioning (question-generation) on reading comprehension and on self-evaluation of comprehension. Seventh-grade students were assigned to one of 4 treatment groups: a question-generation group (Gr. G), an answering questions generated by an experimenter group (Gr. Al)(Exp. 1), an answering questions generated by Gr. G group (Gr. A2)(Exp. 2), or a read-reread control group (Gr. C). Verbal ability, as measured by the Siba Vocabulary Test, was used to group Ss into 3 levels. The quality of questions generated by Gr. G and task performances were analyzed in terms of comprehension of macrostructure. The major results were as follows. a) Question-generation facilitated the comprehension of main ideas. In particular, this effect was larger for lower than for higher verbal ability students. Such effect was caused not by the contents of questions generated, but from the process of generating those questions. b) Gr. G seemed to evaluate more adequately on their comprehension though without any significant results. To examine such result, more valid measures should be planned in the future.
Two experiments were designed to investigate the problems concerning awareness and solution of contradictions in length conservation tasks. In the first experiment, length conservation tasks, perceptual shade tasks and length measurement tasks were presented to 48 preschool and 46 first-grade children. The results showed that some non-conservers gave conservation judgement in perceptual shade conditions, and that a considerable number of non-conservers had already acquired length measurement schemata. It was suggested that difficulties of these non-conservers' awareness of contradictions were due to the weakness of existing primitive identity schema and no application of measurement schemata. In the second experiment, 63 non-conservers were divided into two groups. The results indicated that group I who were given verbal instructions in contradictory situations between perception and measurement showed a much more improved performance than group 2 who were not given them in such situations. It was suggested that without support of these instructions it was difficult for these children to solve contradictions, and that the solution of contradictions led to the construction of conservation schema.
This study aimed at clarifying differences in judging processes at grade levels in judgement of weights addition. Six to thirteen year-old children (total 222) were subjected to the task, and the 6- and 12-year-old children's performance were seen to go down. The error styles of each grade levels were examined and those grades were divided into two groups: high performing group (9-, 11-, 13-year-olds) and low performing group: 6-, 8-, 12-year-olds. The effects of correctional feedback were investigated in the latter one. The results showed: the 6-year-olds showed neither consistent errors, nor the effects of feedback, however among the 8-year-olds, the effects of feedback were observed in the experimental (feedback) group only, whereas the 12-year-olds presented the same error tendency as the 8-year-olds did and their performance went up in the control (non-feedback) as well as in the experimental group. Sex differences were observed on both performance and effects of feedback. From these results it was concluded that a poor performance does not necessarily correspond to a poor cognitive ability.
There has been few analyses of relationship between verbal coding/mediation skill and task performance in children's left-right orientation discrimination. In this study, verbal coding skill was evaluated from expression of the orientations of pictures presented prior to the task, and verification of verbal mediation was gained from expression of the response labels used in the task. Developmental change of verbal mediation skill was found in preschool years, although the task was easy to resolve even with nonverbal mediation. Utility of nonverbal mediation in a discrimination task and the nature of a transitional level featured by nonverbal mediation in spite of verbal coding skill were discussed.
A developmental scale for symbolic functions in early childhood is proposed. Based on the constituents of manipulative plays, developmental levels are hypothesized as follows: Level 0-no symbolization, where children use a thing according to its physica l property; Level 1-symbolization of action, where children use things in the conve ntional manner even in the play setting; Level 2-symbolization of object and action, where children use a thing or doll to stand for another thing or person which is the object or recipient of action; Level 3-symbolization of action, object, and agent, where the agent of action is represented by a doll or the child himself. Five children ranging in age from 9 to 28 months old were observed once a month for 17 months in the play setting with toys and everyday objects provided. The above hypothetical stages were verified except in level 3 since the behaviors expected from the scale did not occur in this age range. Clear distinctions emerged in the age bracket at levels 0, 1, 2.
Three experiments examined the hypothesis that it was easier to process a passage if given-information appeared before a new-information in each sentence than in its contrary. In Experiment 1, 20 graduate and undergraduate students were divided into 2 groups and were asked to read each kind of the above passage, sentence by sentence, while using a computer's key. The reading time and the quality and quantity of a free recall, summary, and question answering were compared. In Experiment 2, two groups of 10 subjects were to read each passage forward and backward using 2 keys. The progress of reading and the quality and quantity of cued recalls were compared. In Experiment 3, two groups of 10 subjects read each passage within 5 seconds per sentence, and another 2 groups would read within 3 seconds but it was too short a time to read backward. The quality and quantity of cued recalls were compared. All the results of Experiments 1-3 support the hypothsis except the result of question answering in Experiment 1. The results were discussed in terms of the theory of elaboration and a processing model.
It is well-known that younger children up to the age of about 6 yr. have much difficulty in discrimination between oblique lines in contrast with relative ease in that between horizontal and vertical. This phenomenon is called oblique effect and a large amount of studies were conducted over the past twenty years for determining the causes of such effect. This paper reviewed these experimental studies in terms of the development of the children's strategies in encoding and storing information of oblique orientation in memory. Some recent infant studies revealed that even a baby might have his/her categorical ability of orientation, so, during early childhood, the orientational categories should be much elaborated, and several encoding strategies for non-specific orientation such as oblique should be developed in an appropriate way to each stimulus context. This course of the development seemed to be confirmed on the whole from the present overview of the studies concerned. This confirmation afforded a basis for further discussions on a developmental hierarchy in orientational categories.