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The development of calendrical skills

Cowan, Richard and Stainthorp, Rhona and Kapnogianni, Sophia and Anastasiou, Maria (2004) The development of calendrical skills. Cognitive Development, 19. pp. 169-178. ISSN 0885-2014. DOI UNSPECIFIED

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Calendrical calculation is the unusual ability to name days of the week for dates in the past and sometimes the future. Previous investigations of this skill have concerned savants, people with pervasive developmental disorders or general intellectual impairment. This research has yielded a hypothesis about how calendrical skills develop but no direct evidence. This study attempts to learn about the development of savant skills by investigating the development of calendrical skills in two boys (aged 5 and 6) along with more general cognitive and social assessments. Consistent with the hypothesis, they initially demonstrated knowledge of regularities but limited range and accuracy in answering date questions and they were slower than many adult savants. At follow up, neither had improved their calendrical skills and they were less willing to answer date questions. Possibly this is because, unlike savants, they had developed interests more commonly shared by their peers and they now received praise for more conventional achievements.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: a. Savant syndrome b. Developmental and cognitive psychology. Longitudinal study of calendrical skills in two typically developing children and comparison with calendrical savants combining standardized assessments, calendrical tasks, and interviews with children and parents. c. First report of calendrical skills in typically developing children and comparison with calendrical savants. Establishes simplicity of these uncommon skills. The contrast between the boys’ waning interest in calendrical calculation over two years with calendrical savants suggests social factors important in savant development. d. e. Individual assessments of children and interviews f. Double blind peer-reviewed g. First author analysed data and wrote paper with contributions from second author and including some data from third and fourth authors’ master’s dissertations.
Controlled Keywords: UK; Not age specific; Home; Numeracy
Divisions: IOE Departments > Departments > Psychology and Human Development
Depositing User: IOE Repository Editor (2)
Date Deposited: 26 Jun 2009 13:25
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2015 07:57
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