Visual signals and children's communication: Negative effects on task outcome

Gwyneth Doherty-Sneddon, Sandra McAuley, Vicki Bruce, Stephen Langton, A. Blokland, Anne Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)
6 Downloads (Pure)


Previous research has found that young children fail to adapt to audio-only interaction (e.g. Doherty-Sneddon & Kent, 1996), and perform dif cult communication tasks better face-to-face. In this study, children aged 6 and 10 years old were compared in face-to-face and audio-only interaction. A problem-solving communication task involving description of abstract stimuli was employed. When describing the abstract stimuli both groups of children showed evidence of face-to-face interference rather than facilitation. It is concluded that, contrary to previous research, for some communication tasks access to visual signals (such as facial expression and eye gaze) may hinder rather than help children’s communication.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)595-608
JournalBritish Journal of Developmental Psychology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2000


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