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An exploration of random generation among children

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>09/1999
<mark>Journal</mark>British Journal of Developmental Psychology
Issue number3
Number of pages18
Pages (from-to)363-380
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The generation of random sequences is known to be a complex, demanding and effortful task for adults. This study explores random generation performance among children in three experiments. Expt 1 illustrates 8-10-year-olds' sensitivity to response speed requirements. Expt 2 shows that 8-11-year-olds were sensitive to the number of response alternatives, while there was equivalence in output quality over two types of instructional formats. Expt 3 reveals competencies in performance among 5-7-year-olds and shows that response repetitions are partly amenable to instructional emphasis. Across comparable studies, analysis confirmed a multidimensional structure to response sets. Generally, data show the potential utility of random generation as a developmental task with substantial and multifaceted attentional requirements.