Is Reliability of Cognitive Measures in Children Dependent on Participant Age? A Case Study with Two Large-Scale Datasets

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

Abstract

When assessing children in laboratory experiments, the measured responses also contain task-irrelevant participant-level variability (“noise”) and measurement noise. Since experimental data are used to make inferences of development of cognitive capabilities with age, it is important to know if reliability of the used measurements depends on child age. Any systematic age-dependent changes in reliability could result in misleading developmental trajectories, as lower reliability will necessarily result in smaller effect sizes. This paper examines age-dependency of task-independent measurement variability in early childhood (3–40 months) by analyzing two large-scale datasets of participant-level experimental responses: the ManyBabies infant-directed speech preference (MB-IDS) dataset and a saccadic reaction time (SRT) dataset collected from rural South Africa. Analysis of participant- and study-level data reveals that MB-IDS shows comparable reliability across the included age range. In contrast, SRTs reflect systematically increasing measurement consistency with increasing age. Potential reasons and implications of this divergence are briefly discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 45th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society
Pages1998-2004
Volume45
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023
Publication typeA4 Article in conference proceedings
Event Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society - , Australia
Duration: 26 Jul 202329 Jul 2023

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society
PublisherCOGNITIVE SCIENCE SOCIETY
ISSN (Print)1069-7977

Conference

Conference Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society
Country/TerritoryAustralia
Period26/07/2329/07/23

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

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