Asymmetrical switch costs in children

Ellefson, Michelle R., Shapiro, Laura R. and Chater, Nick (2006). Asymmetrical switch costs in children. Cognitive Development, 21 (2), pp. 108-130.


Switching between tasks produces decreases in performance as compared to repeating the same task. Asymmetrical switch costs occur when switching between two tasks of unequal difficulty. This asymmetry occurs because the cost is greater when switching to the less difficult task than when switching to the more difficult task. Various theories about the origins of these asymmetrical switch costs have emerged from numerous and detailed experiments with adults. There is no documented evidence of asymmetrical switch costs in children. We conducted a series of studies that examined age-related changes in asymmetrical switch costs, within the same paradigm. Similarities in the patterns of asymmetrical switch costs between children and adults suggested that theoretical explanations of the cognitive mechanisms driving asymmetrical switch costs in adults could be applied to children. Age-related differences indicate that these theoretical explanations need to incorporate the relative contributions and interactions of developmental processes and task mastery. © 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: Life & Health Sciences > Psychology
Life & Health Sciences
Life & Health Sciences > Applied Health Research Group
Life & Health Sciences > Neurosciences research group
Related URLs:
Additional Information: 45th Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic-Society, Minneapolis (US), 18-21 November 2004
Uncontrolled Keywords: arithmetic,children,switch costs,task switching,Developmental and Educational Psychology,Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
Published Date: 2006-04


Full text not available from this repository.

Export / Share Citation


Additional statistics for this record