Adventure as a stimulus for cognitive development
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As illustrated in two studies of the development of children's independent way finding, the happenstance of adventure provides natural opportunities to shape analytical and strategic thinking. Although they had not been instructed, when walking to the limits of their home range, 12-year-olds more than 8-year-olds selectively attended to environmental features with good landmark qualities. There was evidence of learning: older children who had recently experienced the requirements of leading the way to and from a distant site increasingly noted landmarks in the skyline and landmarks near intersections. Universal adventures of childhood may be especially important for the development of sensitivity to contextual feedback and flexibility in achieving goals.
Journal of Environmental Psychology
Developmental Psychology and Ageing