Differences in the vigilance performance of second-grade children as related to sex and achievement

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Child Development




KIRCHNER, GRACE L., and KNOPF, IRWIN J. Differences in the Vigilance Performance of Second- Grade Children as Related to Sex and Achievement. CHILD DEVELOPMENT, 1974, 45, 490-495. 64 middle- to upper-middle-class, white, second-grade children were tested on a visual vigilance task. They were selected on the basis of their scores on the Stanford Achievement Test in order to form high and low achievement groups. The vigilance task consisted of a 30-minute movie of a stationary jet plane. The children responded to a change in the star on the plane's fuselage, which occurred a total of 24 times at predetermined intervals of 30, 60, 90, and 120 seconds. The high achievers made a greater number of correct detections (p < .01) and a fewer number of false responses (p < .01), and there was a significant decline in the number of correct detections over time (p < .05). There were no sex differences in performance, and there was no relationship between performance and interval length.