Preschoolers’ and adults’ scale translation and reconstruction of spatial information acquired from maps

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This research investigated the ability of preschoolers (ages 4 and 5) and adults to memorize the configuration of objects depicted on simple maps and to reconstruct the configurations from memory, in a room. Successful performance required that subjects both mentally represent the spatial relations on the maps and coordinate the scale relation between the maps and the room. The task therefore provided information about children's representational skills and undertstanding and use of scale relations. The reconstructions of most subjects were systematically related to the specific configurations that were depicited on the maps; subjects demonstrated knowledge of the angular relations among objects in the configurations. However, children were significantly more likely than adults to commit scale errors, which involved systematically reconstructing a configuration at a size that was larger or smaller than the target configuration. Taken together, the results suggest that preschoolers' reconstructions can preserve important elements of the original configuration, but that knowledge and use of scale relations may develop later than the ability to represent the relations among a set of objects in a configuration.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-275
JournalBritish Journal of Developmental Psychology
Volume12
DOIs
StatePublished - 1994

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