experienced learning every day from the moment we we’re born. Researchers spend
a lot of time studying how we can learn and grasp new information. It might be difficult
for someone to learn a new language but easy for someone else because of
several factors that affects our learning abilities. These factors are tested
by experimenters. The following study that I will be addressing was performed
in the United Kingdom by researchers who were interested in studying how fast
or effective an 8 to 12 year olds and adults can learn and recall a route that
they’ve only been to once (Lingwood, Blades, Farran, Courbois, & Matthews,
studies have suggested that kids need to have repeated route experience to be
able to retrace it (Lingwood, et al., 2014). On the contrary, adults don’t face
problems with route learning, in fact, they are able to recall it from one or
two experiences (Lingwood, et al., 2014). This is because adults have developed
ways to make them remember the route, for instance, finding landmarks around
the route that will help them, like the bus stop sign near the school (Lingwood,
et al., 2014). This study wanted to compare the ability of route learning
between children and adults as well as to examine if they can retrace it from
one experience only (Lingwood, et al., 2014).
study was approved ethically by the University of Sheffield ethics committee
(Lingwood, et al., 2014). Moreover, it took place after the agreement of the
children’s parents and none of the children was forced to take part in it, in
fact, they all accepted (Lingwood, et al., 2014). It was done in a quiet room
at school and university to maintain safe environment (Lingwood, et al., 2014).
All children were treated fairly and were guided throughout the experiment by
the experimenter (Lingwood, et al., 2014). Nevertheless, they all received
stickers at the end of the experiment regardless of their performance
(Lingwood, et al., 2014).
participants were divided into four age groups of 8, 10, 12 year olds and
adults (Lingwood, et al., 2014). The experiment was performed in a virtual
environment to ensure safety of the participants especially the children
(Lingwood, et al., 2014). The participants were guided individually along a maze
that had 12 junctions and each junction had a correct path and another
incorrect path with one landmark placed in each (Lingwood, et al., 2014). The
start of the path was marked by a white duck and the end was marked with a grey
duck so participants were told that they should walk until they find the grey
duck mark (Lingwood, et al., 2014).
a result, they found that third of 8 year olds, half of the 10 years old, 3
quarters of the 12 year olds and adults were successfully able to recall the
maze after only one attempt without making any errors (Lingwood, et al., 2014).
It is astonishing to find that 12 year olds were able to retrace the route just
as likely as adults (Lingwood, et al., 2014). Another interesting finding was
that the 10 year olds did fairly well with half of them being able to retrace
the route which shows the high learning abilities that this age group exhibits
(Lingwood, et al., 2014). The 8 year olds had the least ability of all to
retrace (Lingwood, et al., 2014). Nonetheless, these numbers are huge when we
have a challenging route with 12 different turns (Lingwood, et al., 2014). It’s
being said that past researches have shown that children can retrace a route
with 7 turns from the first attempt but it was never proved for more routes
(Lingwood, et al., 2014). This study was the first study to compare different
age groups on a more route scale (Lingwood, et al., 2014).
It is good to
conclude that this study, although was performed in a VE instead of the real
world, did leave effective results. It’s unclear why children were able to
retrace the route, but for sure the landmarks used were partially helpful to
make them recall what they’ve seen. To also add, the VE gave them a sense of
tranquility because there were no cars or people that can interrupt them
physically and verbally while walking the maze.