Worsfold N, Davis A, De Bruyn B, 2008, "The effect of horizontal versus vertical task presentation on children’s performance in coordinate tasks" Perception 37(11) 1667 – 1676
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The effect of horizontal versus vertical task presentation on children’s performance in coordinate tasks
Naomi Worsfold, Alyson Davis, Bart De Bruyn
Received 6 August 2007, in revised form 4 April 2008
Abstract. Empirical work on children’s ability to understand spatial coordinates has focused on the factors that increase children’s proficiency. When interpreting performance, it should be considered that presenting a coordinate task on a horizontal surface might constrain the responses that children make because some target positions are further away from the child than others. Vertical task presentation removes this constraint. Children aged 3 to 9 years were presented with an interpretative coordinate task administered on a touchscreen, presented in an egocentric-vertical position or egocentric-horizontal position. The results show that for 5- to 7-year-old children vertical presentation led to far more correct responses than horizontal presentation. Analysis of the children’s errors suggests that this may be due to the fact that vertical presentation suppresses children’s bias towards responding in relation to one rather than both coordinates. Taken together these findings contribute to understanding why children’s performance in xy coordination tasks is highly contextually sensitive.
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