Observation of depictive versus tracing gestures selectively aids verbal versus visual-spatial learning in primary school children
Number of pages
SourceApplied Cognitive Psychology, 30, 5, (2016), pp. 806-814
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ DCC PL
Applied Cognitive Psychology
Previous research has established that gesture observation aids learning in children. The current study examined whether observation of gestures (i.e. depictive and tracing gestures) differentially affected verbal and visual-spatial retention when learning a route and its street names. Specifically, we explored whether children (n = 97) with lower visual and verbal working-memory capacity benefited more from observing gestures as compared with children who score higher on these traits. To this end, 11- to 13-year-old children were presented with an instructional video of a route containing no gestures, depictive gestures, tracing gestures or both depictive and tracing gestures. Results indicated that the type of observed gesture affected performance: Observing tracing gestures or both tracing and depictive gestures increased performance on route retention, while observing depictive gestures or both depictive and tracing gestures increased performance on street name retention. These effects were not differentially affected by working-memory capacity.
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