The relation between hiding skill and judgement of eye direction in preschool children

Nicola McGuigan, Martin J Doherty

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    36 Citations (Scopus)


    This study examines J. H. Flavell, S. G. Shipstead, and K. Croft's (1978) finding that 2 1/2-year-old children can hide an object behind a screen but cannot achieve the same result by placing the screen in front of the object. Experiment 1 replicated this finding alongside a task in which children judged what a person in a picture was looking at. Performance on the move-object task approached ceiling; performances on the move-screen and looking-where tasks were highly correlated even after age and control task performance were partialed out (r=.54, p<.01). Experiment 2 examined whether the finding resulted because the object was more interesting to manipulate than the screen. The move-object task remained easier than the move-screen task with an interesting screen and a dull object. The move-screen task again correlated specifically with the looking-where task. Results are explained in terms of engagement, a precursor to a mature understanding of attention. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)418-427
    Number of pages10
    JournalDevelopmental Psychology
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2002


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