Sister, neighbor, friend: Thinking about multiple roles boosts kids' performance

ScienceDaily | 7/2/2019 | Staff
leeann77 (Posted by) Level 3
"This is some of the first research on reminding kids about their multi-faceted selves," said lead author Sarah Gaither, an assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience at Duke. "Such reminders boost their problem-solving skills and how flexibly they see their social worlds -- all from a simple mindset switch."

Better problem-solving was just one positive finding of the study, Gaither said. After considering their own various identities, children also showed more flexible thinking about race and other social groupings -- a behavior that could be valuable in an increasingly diverse society.

Research - July - Journal - Developmental - Science

The research appears July 2 in the journal Developmental Science.

In a series of experiments, Gaither and her colleagues looked at 196 children, ages 6 and 7. All were native English speakers.

Experiment - Group - Children - Identities - Son

In one experiment, the first group of children was reminded they have various identities, such as son, daughter, reader or helper. A second group of children was reminded of their multiple physical attributes (such as a mouth, arms and legs).

In another experiment, one group of children was again reminded they have various identities. A second set of children received similar prompts -- but about other children's many roles, not their own.

Children - Series - Tasks - Children - Identities

All the children then tackled a series of tasks. Children who were reminded of their various identities demonstrated stronger problem-solving and creative thinking skills. For...
(Excerpt) Read more at: ScienceDaily
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