TitleThe development of episodic foresight in preschoolers
NamePrabhakar, Janani (author), Hudson, Judith A (chair), Leslie, Alan M (internal member), Ogilvie, Daniel M (internal member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - New Brunswick,
DescriptionHow does the ability to think and plan into the future develop? Previous studies suggest that the ability to think about and act upon the future, a process referred to as episodic foresight, emerges between the ages of 3 and 4 (Atance, 2008). However, it is unclear what underlying processes change during the development of episodic foresight. We hypothesize that episodic foresight consists of two separate processes: 1) the formation and maintenance of goals, and 2) the construction of simulated scenarios, each of which can be made more or less difficult based on the task at hand. We report an experiment that tested the emergence of these processes. The experiment focused primarily on the effect of the number of features that must be constructed and held in memory (4 or 6) and the goals that must be maintained (Subgoal then Final). The results indicate that fouryear- old children are able to envision the future to successfully accomplish future goals, but are subject to working memory demands when there are more features in the future environment. However, three-year-olds are only able to attribute goals when the feature demands are low. When there are fewer features to construct, three-year-olds maintain only the final goal, ignoring the subgoal. Therefore, the development of episodic foresight progresses in conjunction with working memory, simulation and goal maintenance abilities.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references
Noteby Janani Prabhakar
CollectionGraduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.