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Reflective and Impulsive Observing Behavior

Ellen Siegelman
Child Development
Vol. 40, No. 4 (Dec., 1969), pp. 1213-1222
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Society for Research in Child Development
DOI: 10.2307/1127025
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1127025
Page Count: 10
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Reflective and Impulsive Observing Behavior
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Abstract

Ss were classified as cognitively reflective and impulsive by means of the Matching Familiar Figures Test (MFF). In a second, modified administration of the MFF, observing behavior (frequency, duration, and target) was recorded. Differences in means between the 2 groups were compared for a number of indices of attention deployment for both standard and alternative stimuli. As predicted, reflective Ss had significantly higher mean scores on all absolute measures of frequency and duration of looking behavior. But when relative deployment of attention was calculated, reflective Ss, as compared to impulsives, were found to devote proportionately less looking time as well as less frequent looks to the standard, to the most observed alternative, and to the chosen alternative. Impulsive Ss ignored 2½ times as many alternatives as reflectives, suggesting both a more biased and more peaked distribution of attention. Different strategies or algorithms underlying the performance of the two groups are suggested.

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