Title page for ETD etd-04042008-164820

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Buonomano, Lisa Cristine
Author's Email Address lbuonoma@vt.edu
URN etd-04042008-164820
Title Stimulus Matters: Effects of Familiarity versus Novelty
Degree Master of Science
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Bell, Martha Ann Committee Chair
Bradburn, Isabel Committee Member
Deater-Deckard, Kirby Committee Member
  • Preschool
  • Familiarity
  • Novelty
  • Inhibitory Control
Date of Defense 2008-03-21
Availability unrestricted
The ability to suppress a prepotent response is a crucial component of cognition that begins to develop during infancy and peeks during preschool. As part of understanding how one develops inhibitory control, learning about what conditions may help or hurt task performance is of great interest. The purpose of this project was to study the effects of familiarity and novelty on inhibitory control. Thirty-five preschoolers between two and five years of age were tested in four different versions of the Dimensional Change Card Sort (DCCS). Performance was no different among standard, 2D-familiar, and 3D-familiar conditions. When comparing novel with the standard condition, children performed worse (37% and 68% respectively). Findings support the attentional inertia hypothesis. An exploratory analysis on temperament was also investigated. Children who scored higher in effortful control performed better in the 2D-familiar condition.

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