The dynamic systems approach simulates a wide range of effects and generates novel predictions, but it fails to explain age-related behavioral changes in psychological terms. We argue that the roles of conscious control and explicit knowledge must be addressed in any model of A-not-B performance, and a fortiori, in any model of goal-directed action.
Although previous work has linked parent autonomy support to the development of children’s executive function skills, the role of specific autonomy-supportive behaviors has not been thoroughly investigated. We compiled data from four preschool-age samples in the Midwestern United States to examine three relevant autonomy-supportive behaviors and their associations with child EF. We coded parent autonomy-supportive behaviors from a 10-min interaction between parent and child dyads working on challenging jigsaw puzzles together. Children completed a battery of EF. Overall, child EF was (...) most consistently correlated with the offering choice subscale. Additionally, only the offering choice subscale predicted child EF while controlling for the other autonomy support subscales and child age. These results suggest that parent provision of choice is an especially relevant aspect of autonomy-supportive parenting and may be important to the development of EF in early childhood. Future research should directly measure children’s experience with choice and how it relates to emerging EF. (shrink)
Relational complexity provides a metric for measuring task demands, and in this respect has much in common with the cognitive complexity and control theory. However, relational complexity does not account for the relative difficulty of different relational types, and appears to underestimate the importance of changes in children's ability to act on the basis of their understanding.
Limitations of Dienes & Perner's (D&P's) theory are traced to the assumption that the higher-order thought (HOT) theory of consciousness is true. D&P claim that 18-month-old children are capable of explicitly representing factuality, from which it follows (on D&P's theory) that they are capable of explicitly representing content, attitude, and self. D&P then attempt to explain 3-year-olds' failures on tests of voluntary control such as the dimensional change card sort by suggesting that at this age children cannot represent content and (...) attitude explicitly. We provide a better levels-of-consciousness account for age-related abulic dissociations between knowledge and action. (shrink)