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Five-and Eight-Year-Old Children's Response to Auditory and Visual Distraction NICHD

Hale, Gordon A.; Stevenson, Edward E., Jr.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Bulletin
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
National Institute for Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), Behavior Patterns, Child Development, Performance Factors, Responses


An assessment was made of 5- and 8-year-old children's performance on a short-term memory task under two auditory and two visual distraction conditions, as well as under a nondistraction condition. Performance under nondistraction was found to be superior to that under distraction (p<.001), indicating that the extraneous stimuli had a generally detrimental effect on performance. The comparison between nondistraction and distraction did not interact significantly with age. Suggesting little developmental change in distractibility over this age range. The data also indicated a reduction in the effects of the distractors following their initial presentation, implying an adaption to the presence of extraneous stimulation. (Author/DB) (25pp.)

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