Children's behaviour and cognitions across different balance tasks

David J. Messer, Karen J. Pine, Cathal Butler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Children's understanding of the way objects balance has provided important insights about cognitive development [e.g., Karmil-off-Smith, A. (1992). Beyond modularity: A developmental perspective on cognitive science. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press; Siegler, R.S. (1976). Three aspects of cognitive development. Cognitive Psychology, 8, 481-520]. We investigated the performance of 86 children aged between 5 and 7 years to see whether their cognitions about balance were consistent across different types of balance task. The children did not utilise the same cognitive processes across the different tasks; instead performance appeared to be influenced by perceptual and task characteristics. The findings emphasise that children's ability to access their knowledge varies with task demands and that theories about cognitive development need to take greater account of this variation. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-53
Number of pages12
JournalLearning and Instruction
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2008


  • balance
  • context
  • representations


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