We argue that the concept of goal neglect can be fruitfully applied to understand children’s potential problems in experimental tasks and real-world settings. We describe an assessment of goal neglect developed for administration to preschool children, and report data on two measures derived from this task alongside the Dimensional Change Card Sort (DCCS) and an Opposite-colour responseinhibition task. The propensity to neglect initial task cues was uniquely linked to response-inhibition, while neglect of a later cue was uniquely linked to the DCCS. Additional evidence suggests that recovery from neglect can occur, and shows that goal neglect varies with the cognitive transparency of the signifying cue. Data demonstrate the importance of, and place constraints on, current theories of information-regulation, and foreground the notion of graded representations in working memory and executive functioning.
The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 96 (4), 2007, © ELSEVIER.