The relationship between response speed and stereotyped behavior in children
The relationship between response latency and stereotyped behavior in young children was investigated using a concept identification task. Thirty-eight reflective and impulsive students selected on the basis of scores on the Matching Familiar Figures Test were obtained from kindergarten and second-grade elementary school students. Subjects were administered five discrimination learning problems using blank-trial probes. Kindergarten subjects showed significantly more position stereotypes than did second-grade subjects. Response latencies on experimental tasks were significantly shorter for second-grade subjects than for kindergarten subjects. Reflective subjects did not significantly differ from impulsive subjects in the use of stereotypes. A significant correlation was obtained between increased latency to responding and stereotyped patterns of responding. The results were interpreted as not supporting the concept of reflection-impulsivity or models of discrimination learning based on Piagetian theory. The critical role of pretraining procedures in investigations of hypothesis behavior in children was discussed.