- Dynamics, models, and mechanisms of the cognitive flexibility of preschoolers
- Award date
- 20 March 2014
- Number of pages
- Document type
- PhD thesis
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
Flexibility is a significant ability in the present rapidly changing society. In a novel situation or when circumstances change, one’s automatic inclinations provide no guidance, and conscious cognitive control is required. Cognitive flexibility is one of the component abilities that constitute cognitive control. The main goal of this thesis is to gain insight into the cognitive flexibility of preschoolers. Previous research shows that important improvements in cognitive flexibility occur between the ages of three and five years. We make novel contributions on three important issues in this field. First, we empirically test key questions about the mechanisms underlying performance and development on the Dimensional Change Card Sorting (DCCS) task, a widely used paradigm to study cognitive flexibility in preschoolers. Secondly, we investigate the dynamics of development of this important ability. Finally, we introduce an analysis method that is more developmentally appropriate than standard ways of analyzing DCCS task data.
- Research conducted at: Universiteit van Amsterdam
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