Student Research

Grace Wheeler

Grace Wheeler

Class of: 2019

Major(s): Psychology

How do different emotion regulation strategies affect emotion recognition in individuals with depression?

Grace recently was awarded a Grua/O’Connell Research Award for her research project. She will be working with Professor Kelly Parker-Guilbert as her faculty mentor.

Eliana Albright

Eliana Albright

Class of: 2020

Major(s): Psychology, Sociology

Children’s temporal knowledge: The role of language, timelines, and executive function

As children grow, their ability to reason and remember becomes increasingly sophisticated. Temporal knowledge becomes more solidified as children age, specifically the ability to order past autobiographical events (e.g., did your birthday or Easter come first?) and the use of time words such as before and after. Moreover, training on the use of a timeline has been shown to aid children when ordering autobiographical events.

About the Project

The project investigated 3- to 6-year-old children’s temporal knowledge of a recently experienced event (events in a storybook) and how use of a timeline facilitated recall of the ordering of the events. In addition, we assessed children’s understanding of the words “before” and “after,” and we assessed their cognitive flexibility. The procedure had four tasks. First, children were asked to order events in a typical day using the words “before” and “after” to get a sense of their understanding of the words.

Next, they were read a storybook, Miss Malarkey’s Field Trip. After the story, the children practiced using a timeline to order the story’s events and then were asked questions regarding the order of the events in the story using the words “before” and “after.” The last two tasks measured executive functioning: The Day/Night Stroop task (testing inhibition) and the Dimensional Change Card Sort task (testing switching).

We are addressing the following questions:

  1. Is there a relationship between children’s ability to order events in a typical day and their recallof the temporal order of events from the story?
  2. Does performance on the timeline task predict recall of the temporal order of events from thestory?
  3. Is there a relationship between recall of the temporal order of events from the story and cognitive flexibility? 

These findings have implications for eyewitness testimony, which relies heavily on the reporting of temporal information.