Perseverators are “Stuck” on a Concrete Dimension: Individual Differences in Achieving Dual Representation

Melissa A. Bright


Although numerous researchers have found that young children have difficulty perceiving both a concrete and an abstract dimension of a symbol (i.e., achieving dual representation), few researchers have examined the reasoning behind this difficulty. In this study, individual differences in cognitive flexibility as they relate to achieving dual representation are examined. Participants (children at 30, 36 and 42 months) completed a standard scale model task (to assess dual representation) and a Dimensional Change Card Sort (DCCS) task (to assess cognitive flexibility). It was expected that children with good cognitive flexibility would perform better on a task of dual representation than would children with poor cognitive flexibility. Although hypotheses were not supported, findings from this data warrant future investigations on this topic. Limitations and future directions are discussed.

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