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    Science with Duplo: multilevel goal management in preschoolers’ toy house construction

    Schröer, Lisanne and Cooper, Richard P. and Mareschal, Denis (2020) Science with Duplo: multilevel goal management in preschoolers’ toy house construction. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology , ISSN 0022-0965. (In Press)

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    Executing goal-directed action sequences is fundamental to our behavior. Planning and controlling these action sequences improves greatly over the preschool years. In this study, we examined preschoolers’ ability to plan action sequences. Sixty-nine 3- to 5-year-olds were assessed on an action sequence planning task with a hierarchical goal structure, and on several executive function tasks. Planning abilities improved with age. Improvements in inhibition were related to avoidance of actions irrelevant to the goal hierarchy. Updating skill appears to be associated with executing actions relevant to different subgoals. Using optical motion capture, we showed that children who followed the subgoals displayed less movement with their non-reaching hand within a subgoal. This effect was enhanced in children with better inhibitory skills, suggesting that such skills allow greater focus on executing the current subgoal. Thus, we provide evidence that structuring of subgoals in action sequence planning emerges in preschool years and that improvements in performance in action sequence planning are related to executive functions.


    Item Type: Article
    School: School of Science > Psychological Sciences
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2020 11:03
    Last Modified: 16 Jun 2021 10:21


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