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BRIEF REPORT Sometimes Losing Your Self in Space: Children's and Adults' Spontaneous

Sometimes Losing Your Self in Space: Children's and Adults' Spontaneous
Use of Multiple Spatial Reference Frames
Andrew D. R. Surtees
University of Birmingham
Matthijs L. Noordzij
University of Twente
Ian A. Apperly
University of Birmingham
Two experiments tested 6- to 11-year-old children's and college students' use of different frames of
reference when making judgments about descriptions of social and nonsocial scenes. In Experiment 1,
when social and nonsocial scenes were mixed, both children and students (N 144) showed spontaneous
sensitivity to the intrinsic and the relative frame of reference for both social and nonsocial scenes. All
groups over 7 years old showed a stronger effect of the intrinsic frame of reference for social stimuli. This
is the first evidence of sensitivity to more than 1 frame of reference in individual judgments made by
children. Experiment 2 tested a further sample of 6- to 11-year-old children and students (N 185) with
social and nonsocial scenes in separate blocks. In this study, participants were no longer sensitive to the
relative frame of reference--an effect we characterize as "losing your self in space," as this frame is
generated by one's own position in the world. Children showed this effect only when the stimuli were
social, suggesting that spontaneous use of intrinsic frames of spatial reference may develop out of


Source: Apperly, Ian - School of Psychology, University of Birmingham


Collections: Biology and Medicine