The effect of number of A trials on performance on the A-not-B task

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Stuart Marcovitch, Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Psychology (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: The A-not-B error (Piaget, 1954), which occurs when infants search perseveratively on reversal trials in a delayed-response task, is one of the most widely studied phenomena in developmental psychology. Nonetheless, the effect of A-trial experience on the probability and magnitude of this error remains unclear. In this study, 9-month-old infants were tested at location A until they searched correctly on 1, 6, or 11 A trials. Results revealed an effect of A trials on the proportion of infants who erred on the first B trial, and on the number of errors prior to a correct search at B (i.e., the error run). These effects were asymptotic, or U-shaped, consistent with a dual-process model according to which A-trial experience increases habit strength but also provides opportunities for reflection on task structure.

Additional Information

Infancy, 3, 519-529
Language: English
Date: 2002
infants, delayed-response task, developmental psychology

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