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Attention and Verbal Labeling Behavior: A Study in the Measurement of Internal Representation NICHD

Lewis, Michael
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Bulletin
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
National Institute for Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), National Science Foundation (NSF), Attention, Novelty Stimulus Dimension, Preschool Children, Responses, Verbal Ability


This study was interested in determining whether (1) novelty produces greater or less attention than familiarity and incongruity, and (2) if children's labeling behavior was related to their attentive behavior. Using 3 to 5 year-old children, the results indicate that attention, at least for the stimuli presented, is an increasing function from familiar to incongruous to novel. Moreover, the subjects' speed and accuracy of labeling was related to their attentive behavior, with familiar stimuli producing mostly correct labels with short latencies while incongruous or novel stimuli produced mostly incorrect or no labels with long latencies. These results were discussed in relationship to the concept of novelty. (Author)

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