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Enhancing Interest in Peer Interaction: A Developmental Analysis

Ann K. Boggiano, Cheryl A. Klinger and Deborah S. Main
Child Development
Vol. 57, No. 4 (Aug., 1986), pp. 852-861
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Society for Research in Child Development
DOI: 10.2307/1130362
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1130362
Page Count: 10
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Enhancing Interest in Peer Interaction: A Developmental Analysis
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Abstract

Using an intrinsic motivation paradigm, the effects of providing different reasons for interacting with a peer were examined in terms of children's subsequent interest in playing with the other child. Children (5½, 7, and 9 years old) were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 conditions and provided with identical information about a child presented on a television monitor (that he was nice and had a new Lego game). In the experimental conditions, children were then asked if they wanted to play with the peer either "because he has a new game" (situational information) or "because he's real nice" (dispositional information). The results indicated that, for the 9-year-olds, the dispositional/intrinsic information enhanced subsequent intrinsic interest in the peer relative to the control condition, while the situational information undermined later interest. In contrast, for the younger age groups, the situational information increased interest in peer interaction for the younger age groups in comparison to the control condition, while the dispositional information did not differ from control. The findings are discussed in terms of potential processes underlying these effects.

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