Children's reasoning about the causal significance of the temporal order of events.

Developmental Psychology 41:54-63 (2005)
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Four experiments examined children's ability to reason about the causal significance of the order in which 2 events occurred (the pressing of buttons on a mechanically operated box). In Study 1, 4-year-olds were unable to make the relevant inferences, whereas 5-year-olds were successful on one version of the task. In Study 2, 3-year-olds were successful on a simplified version of the task in which they were able to observe the events although not their consequences. Study 3 found that older children had difficulties with the original task even when provided with cues to attend to order information. However, 5-year-olds performed successfully in Study 4, in which the causally relevant event was made more salient.
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