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Zooming in on spatial scaling: preschool children and adults use mental transformations to scale spaces

Möhring, Wenke and Newcombe, Nora S. and Frick, Andrea. (2014) Zooming in on spatial scaling: preschool children and adults use mental transformations to scale spaces. Developmental Psychology, 50 (5). pp. 1614-1619.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/45160/

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Abstract

Spatial scaling is an important prerequisite for many spatial tasks and involves an understanding of how distances in different-sized spaces correspond. Previous studies have found evidence for such an understanding in preschoolers; however, the mental processes involved remain unclear. In the present study, we investigated whether children and adults use mental transformations to scale distances in space. Adults and 4- and 5-year-old children (N = 60) were asked to use maps to locate target objects in a larger referent space on a touch screen. The size of the referent space was held constant, but the sizes of the maps were varied systematically, resulting in 7 scaling factors. A linear increase in response times and errors with increasing scaling factor suggested that participants of every age group mentally transformed the size of the map to compare it to the referent, providing evidence for an analog imagery strategy in children's and adults' spatial scaling.
Faculties and Departments:07 Faculty of Psychology > Departement Psychologie > Forschungsbereich Persönlichkeits- und Entwicklungspsychologie > Entwicklungs- und Persönlichkeitspsychologie (Grob)
UniBasel Contributors:Möhring, Wenke
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:American Psychological Association
ISSN:0012-1649
e-ISSN:1939-0599
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Identification Number:
Last Modified:04 Dec 2017 09:46
Deposited On:04 Dec 2017 09:46

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