Role of symmetry in the mirror-image confusions of preschoolers

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64 children between 3 and 5 yrs old were given a location copying task both with a standard and comparison display side by side (horizontally aligned) and with displays aligned along their diagonals. Displays were pegboards of 3 levels of complexity: 2-by-2, 4-by-4, and 6-by-6 holes. Left-right reversals were the predominant errors and were frequent for horizontally aligned displays; left-right reversals were less frequent and performance more accurate for diagonally aligned displays. Only for interior positions on the 6-by-6 hole array were errors other than left-right reversals frequent; and for these positions only, alignment did not influence accuracy. Results fail to support P. Bryant's (1973, 1974) hypothesis that mirror-image confusions are no more frequent than other in-line (in-row) errors and that these errors result from dependence on an in-line comparison strategy. (18 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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