Children are ahead of adults in addressing unnecessary tasks

Children are ahead of adults in addressing unnecessary tasks

Psychologists from Ohio state University experimentally found that children compared to adults on average, retain more visual information outside of the object on which to focus. The study is published in Psychological Science.

Age development of the human psyche, that is, improvement of cognitive and social skills from childhood to adulthood — law, identified by psychologists long ago. Despite the fact that it doesn’t work for learning processes (e.g., development of a second language, riding a bike or playing a musical instrument is more effective in children than in adult), her work has been proven for the vast majority of cognitive processes such as attention, categorization of subjects, memorization and the formation of logical inferences.

In the new study, American psychologists have described a rare case of violations of the law of progression of cognitive skills. Based on the results of the two experiments, the researchers found that adults generally remember less information than children, if both could be asked to focus on one of the plurality of objects. The fact was revealed on the basis of two experiments on selective (selective) attention, that is, experiments where volunteers are asked to focus on one of the many objects in reality. In the experiment, was attended by 35 adults and 34 children aged 4 to 5 years.

In the first experiment, researchers showed volunteers a computer screen with two shapes that overlap each other. One of the figures was red, the other green. Participants were asked to pay attention to the shape of a certain color (e.g., red). Then the figure disappeared for a moment, and a new screen with figures. Participants had to report whether the objects on the new screen the same as the previous one. In some jobs, the figures were identical, while others differed among themselves either the target, either side of the figure. The adults noticed the change in the shape in which they were asked to focus a little better than children: 94 percent compared with 86 percent of the cases. But the children were significantly more likely to notice when they changed improper uniform: 77 percent compared with 63 percent of the cases.

In the second experiment, volunteers were shown drawings of imaginary creatures with different features, such as drawings on the skin or different form of the limbs. In the task participants were asked to remember one of the features of the appearance of animals. The result was that adults and children with equal success recalled the target line, but the kids remember much more other features. The children were able to answer 72 percent of questions about side features the appearance of imaginary creatures, and adults with only 59 percent of the identical questions.

The results showed that, on average, due to weaker ability to concentrate attention children have time to process more inappropriate visual information than adults. The fact that children are not unable to focus as well as adults, even if you try, resulting in unusual cognitive advantage. According to the authors, in such situations, eventually they notice and remember more than adults.

Previously, scientists from the UK found a way to improve the adult cognitive tasks. They showed that stimulation of the brain in unison with his own theta rhythm increases the effectiveness of executing load working memory tasks of this type.

Elizaveta Vlasova