?Review of “the Credible Shrinking Room:Very Young Children’s Performance With Symbolic andThis study is performed on 2. 5 year olds, and tests their ability to use their knowledge of thelocation of a toy (Troll-doll named “Terry”) in a room (tent-like, with various pieces of commonhousehold furniture) to draw deductions as to where a miniature toy is located in a model replica(same fabrics, materials, etc.
) of said room. There were two conditions. The 17 children in the nonsymbolic condition believed that a“shrinking machine” had caused the room the become smaller, whereas the 15 children in thesymbolic condition were told that the smaller room represented the larger room. The question iswhether the children would be able to associate the smaller room with the larger one, thus utilizingknowledge of symbols. The hypothesis is that because the scale model of the room is so interestingan object, the children will be unable to look at it while simultaneously thinking about its relationIn the symbolic task, the children were shown the large and small dolls, large and smallrooms, and were told of their formal relationships.Order now
The children watched as the experimenter hidthe doll somewhere in the large room, and were told that it would be in the same place in the smallerroom. After 10-15 minutes, the child was asked to find the doll in the smaller room. If they wereunable to find it, they were given prompts until retrieval. To succeed, the children had to realizethat the rooms were related. (The trials alternated between large to small room, then small to largeroom, in both the symbolic and nonsymbolic trials. )In the nonsymbolic task, the children were shown a doll and a room, and watched as thedoll was hidden within the room.
(They were asked in about five minutes to find it, but as this wasa simple memory task, there was 100% success. ) In an orientation activity, the children were thenshown a “machine that can shrink toys”, and given an elaborate demonstration. They were thenshown another toy being hidden in the larger room, taken away, and returned to be shown the“shrunken room” and asked to find the toy in it. (The children’s acceptance of the “shrinking” wasthen assessed with the help of a questionnaire given to parents. )In the symbolic task, six of the 15 children never found the toy, and six retrieved it onlyonce.
No child succeeded on more than two of the four trials. The children understood their task,and were happy to cooperate, but apparently didn’t understand that knowledge from one room couldChildren in the nonsymbolic task, however, did much better. 12 of the 17 subjects achievedthree or more errorless retrievals, and seven of those had perfect scores. In neither task did success change based on whether the trial was from small to large room,Because the symbolic task requires dual representation, whereas the nonsymbolic task doesnot, it can be concluded that very young children have a great deal of difficulty with that task.
Limited cognitive ability makes it difficult to represent a single object in two different ways. That children’s comprehension of dual representation is called into question here haspractical implications: whether children understand what manipulables such as blocks, and otherquantity-representing objects are actually representing and whether anatomically correct dolls aidinvestigations of abuse if the child cannot perceive what the doll represents. This study shows the importance of not assuming that children understand the symbol-object relationship, no matter how uncomplicated it seems to those who are older. Bibliography:?DeLoache, Judy, S. , Miller, Kevin, F. , & Rosengren, Karl, S.
(1997). The CredibleShrinking Room: Very Young Children’s Performance With Symbolic and NonsymbolicRelations. Journal of the American Psychological Society, 8, 308-312