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Adults' social cues facilitate young children's use of signs and symbols

Leekam, Susan R. ORCID:, Solomon, Tracy L. and Teoh, Yee-San 2010. Adults' social cues facilitate young children's use of signs and symbols. Developmental Science 13 (1) , pp. 108-119. 10.1111/j.1467-7687.2009.00862.x

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Three experiments investigated the effect of an adult’s social cues on 2- and 3-year-old children’s ability to use a sign or symbol to locate a hidden object. Results showed that an adult’s positive, engaging facial expression facilitated children’s ability to identify the correct referent, particularly for 3-year-olds. A neutral facial expression and the presence of the adult’s hand also facilitated performance, but to a lesser degree than did an engaging facial expression. The effect of the adult’s social cues was greater for relatively unfamiliar signs and symbols (replica or arrow) than it was for a more familiar sign (pointing finger). These findings indicate that non-directional social cues such as facial expression help to convey communicative intent and facilitate children’s comprehension of signs and symbols.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN: 1363-755X
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2022 12:54

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