Cognitive Perspectives on Children's Social and Behavioral by M. Perlmutter

By M. Perlmutter

First released in 1986. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa corporation.

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The children did not differ from each other on the number of relevant solutions produced on the test; however, kindergarten children were more flexible than preschoolers when providing follow-up solutions following initial failure. These data support the naturalistic observations of Levin and Rubin (1983) who reported increased flexibility in social problem solving with age following receipt of noncompliance to requests. Thus, it appears as if strat­ egy sequencing and not strategy production is a differentiating developmental factor in early childhood, at least insofar as the goal of object acquisition is concerned.

The validity of such judgments has yet to be established in the research literature. The judgment of success or failure outcome by the actor represents a clear branching point in the social problem solving process. If the strategy is judged to be successful, the social problem solving process ends. Presumably, information about the success of the strategy is, thereafter, retained. , it may rise in the hierarchy and be evoked sooner or faster in subsequent situations). If a strategy is judged as a partial success, the individual may accept the outcome as successful “ enough” and proceed as if the outcome was a success; alternatively, the individual may decide to reattempt the goal, as if the outcome were a failure.

We can generalize this statement also to another area of social cognition, that is, perspective-taking. ’s (1968) 7-4 picture story. Whether social isolation in early childhood affects other areas of social-cognition remains unknown. 1. SOCIAL PROBLEM SOLVING 35 These results have a number of important implications. First, for years psy­ chologists have been concerned with the possibility that social withdrawal during the early years places children “ at risk” for a variety of problems (see Strain, Kerr, & Ragland, 1981 for a relevant review).

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