Colecția 2006


Scris de Silvia CIAIRANO, Silvia BONINO, Renato MICELI on . Postat în Volumul X, Nr. 3


Cognitive flexibility can be conceived as the capacity of children to inhibit automatism and to decentralise themselves from the present situation. The hypothesis of the present study is that children with higher cognitive flexibility are more cooperative within social interactions with peers: the goal is achieved together with the other individual and not against him/her. Children of 7, 9 and 11 years (94 boys and 80 girls) were considered. Cognitive flexibility was measured by means of the Stroop Effect as a correlate of the evaluated ability to avoid an automatic response: children were classified as presenting high, medium or low flexibility. For evaluating social interaction, two children (both of the same level of flexibility) were asked to play with a puzzle during a time of 10'. Each action and verbalisation was classified as representing a: neutral, cooperative and non-cooperative behaviour. Language was also classified as task-centered or not-task centered, and all the interactions (behavioural or linguistic) were classified as successful or not. The results (ANOVA, p<.0001) confirmed the hypothesis: children with high flexibility carry out many more cooperative behaviours, less neutral ones and very few non-cooperative ones. The difference is more evident for cooperative language abilities. Summarising, flexibility in thinking corresponds to greater social competence in the interaction with peers. No other factors (neither age nor gender) seem to play an important role.

Keywords: thinking, flexibility, cooperation, competition