Decreased attention to object size information in scale errors performers
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Young children sometimes make serious attempts to perform impossible actions on miniature objects as if they were full-size objects. The existing explanations of these curious action errors assume (but never explicitly tested) children's decreased attention to object size information. This study investigated the attention to object size information in scale errors performers. Two groups of children aged 18-25 months (N=52) and 48-60 months (N=23) were tested in two consecutive tasks: an action task that replicated the original scale errors elicitation situation, and a looking task that involved watching on a computer screen actions performed with adequate to inadequate size object. Our key finding - that children performing scale errors in the action task subsequently pay less attention to size changes than non-scale errors performers in the looking task - suggests that the origins of scale errors in childhood operate already at the perceptual level, and not at the action level.
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