Children's ability to appraise their own versus another person's communication performance
Previous research has found that younger children are less accurate communicators to a listener. In the present research, children's ability to appraise or evaluate the quality of communication performance was investigated. In Exp I, 90 2nd-, 4th-, and 6th-grade children communicated messages for 15 referents. Half of the Ss then appraised their own messages, and half appraised the messages of a yoked age-mate. In the self-appraisal condition, Ss were asked to indicate whether or not each of their messages was effective. In the other-appraisal condition, Ss indicated whether or not each of a peer's messages was effective. Results indicate that younger Ss were less accurate appraisers of performance as well as less accurate communicators. Within a particular grade level, Ss were similar in their self-appraisal and other-appraisal accuracy. Exp II controlled the quality of messages that Ss judged across grade level. 15 Ss appraised a standard set of messages half of which were effective and half of which were ineffective. Younger Ss were less accurate evaluators of good and poor messages. Results from both studies are considered in light of evidence that younger children do not compare the association of messages to referents and nonreferents. Failure to engage in comparison activity would result in poor appraisal accuracy as well as poor communication accuracy.
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