Is tool-making knowledge robust over time and across problems?

Frontiers in Psychology 5:108248 (2014)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

In three studies, we explored the retention and transfer of tool-making knowledge, learnt from an adult demonstration, to other temporal and task contexts. All studies used a variation of a task in which children had to make a hook tool to retrieve a bucket from a tall transparent tube. Children who failed to innovate the hook tool independently saw a demonstration. In Study 1, we tested children aged 4 to 6 years (N = 53) who had seen the original demonstration 3 months earlier. Performance was excellent at the second time, indicating that children’s knowledge was retained over the 3 month period. In Studies 2 and 3 we explored transfer of the new knowledge to other tasks. In Study 2, children were given two variants of the apparatus that differed in surface characteristics (e.g. shape and colour). Participants generalised their knowledge to these new apparatuses even though the new pipecleaner also differed in size and colour. Five- to 6-year-olds (n = 22) almost always transferred their knowledge to problems where the same tool had to be made. Younger, 3- to 5-year-olds’ (n = 46), performance was more variable. In Study 3, 4- to 7-year-olds (N = 146) saw a demonstration of hook making with a pipecleaner, but then had to make a tool by combining pieces of wooden dowel (or vice versa: original training on dowel, transfer to pipecleaner). Children did not transfer their tool-making knowledge to the new material. Children retained tool-making knowledge over time and transferred their knowledge to new situations in which they needed to make a similar tool from similar materials, but not different materials. We concluded that children’s ability to use tool-making knowledge in novel situations is likely to depend on memory and analogical reasoning, with the latter continuing to develop during middle childhood.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 91,139

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Old problems, new thinking.Gordon Rugg - 2008 - The Philosophers' Magazine 42 (42):53-57.
Ciencia socialmente robusta: algunas reflexiones epistemológicas.Alberto Oscar Cupani - 2012 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 16 (2):319-340.
I am not now, nor have I ever been, a turnip.Josh Parsons - 2005 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 83 (1):1 – 14.
Human Rights: A Modest Proposal.Michael Byron - 2009 - Etica E Politica 11 (1):470-494.

Analytics

Added to PP
2016-06-30

Downloads
21 (#676,185)

6 months
5 (#441,012)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Sarah Beck
University of Birmingham