Ohio State University Study Finds The Benefit Of Children's Curiosity [Video]By Emily Marks, UniversityHerald Reporter
It is a well-known fact that adults are better at most cognitive tasks than children due to their brain maturity and experiences. However, researchers from Ohio State University found how the limitations of children can sometimes be their strength.
Two studies were conducted and researchers found that adults were good at remembering information if they were told to focus on them. They also tend to ignore the rest.
On the other hand, children aged four to five years old were found to have the ability to focus on all information presented to them. This is even though they were asked to focus on just one specific item.
In a press release on OSU's official website, Vladimir Sloutsky, co-author of the study and professor of psychology at the school, said that children are often though to be lacking in many skills when compared with adults. However, as their study proved, what seemed like a deficiency may actually be an advantage.
He described children as being "extremely curious" and that they tend to explore everything around them. This means that their attention is spread out among many things even when asked to focus. Moreover, this can sometimes be helpful.
Sloutsky did the study with Daniel Plebanek, a graduate student in psychology. Their results will be published in "Psychological Science."
In the first study, the participants were 35 adults and 34 children aged four to five years old. They were shown a computer screen with two shapes that had one shape overlaying the other.
One of the shapes was colored red and the other was green. They were told to pay attention to a shape of a specific color. The shape then disappeared briefly and another screen with shapes appeared. The participants had to report whether the shapes in the new screen were the same as what was shown in the previous screen.
The second study had the same participants. This time, they were shown drawings of artificial creatures with different features and were asked to find a specific feature.
Both studies found that children were more accurate than adults at remembering features that they were not asked to attend to. It was noted that children end up noticing and remembering more.