Piecing together the puzzle of pictorial representation: how jigsaw puzzles index metacognitive development

Martin J. Doherty*, Marina C. Wimmer, Cornelia Gollek, Charlotte Stone, Elisabeth J. Robinson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
19 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Jigsaw puzzles are ubiquitous developmental toys in Western societies, used here to examine the development of metarepresentation. For jigsaw puzzles this entails understanding that individual pieces, when assembled, produce a picture. In Experiment 1, 3- to 5-year-olds (N=117) completed jigsaw puzzles that were normal, had no picture, or comprised non-interlocking rectangular pieces. Pictorial puzzle completion was associated with mental and graphical metarepresentational task performance. Guide pictures of completed pictorial puzzles were not useful. In Experiment 2, 3- to 4-year-olds (N=52) completed a simplified task, to choose the correct final piece. Guide-use associated with age and specifically graphical metarepresentation performance. We conclude that the pragmatically natural measure of jigsaw puzzle completion ability demonstrates general and pictorial metarepresentational development at 4 years.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-221
Number of pages17
JournalChild Development
Volume92
Issue number1
Early online date29 Jul 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Jul 2020

Keywords

  • jigsaws
  • theory of mind
  • pictorial metarepresentation

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