Exploring the association between self-regulation and foraging performance in children aged 4 to 7 years

by Inga María Ólafsdóttir 1986

Institution: University of Iceland
Year: 2015
Keywords: Sálfræði
Record ID: 1222206
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/21748


A considerable overlap in the characteristics of visual attention and self-regulation, suggests that these two processes are somehow linked. A growing number of researchers have taken interest in human foraging behavior, but to date, there is no research on the development of foraging performance. A novel iPad task where participants are required to locate 40 target items from two categories, embedded within a field of distractors, has been used to demonstrate that human foraging behavior changes drastically when attentional load is increased. Here, 4:0-7:3 year old children’s performance on the iPad task was observed and compared to their performance on the HTKS behavioral self-regulation task. It was hypothesized that as the children got older, their performance would become more similar to that of adults, and that a higher amount of self-regulation ability would add to that effect. The results show that as children get older, their performance improves with regard to trial completion and response times, and self-regulation has an added effect in that regard. “Run behavior”, or the pattern of consecutive selection of the same type of target items, on the other hand, became more dissimilar to adult performance as the children aged. The results clearly demonstrate a connection between self-regulation and visual foraging task performance. A greater understanding of the development of visual foraging is needed in order to fully comprehend its connection to self-regulation.