Department of Psychology and Behavioural Sciences

Episodic future thinking in 35-, 47-, and 55-month-old children

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The trip task has been used as a verbal test for examining preschool children’s episodic future thinking. However, the only existing study using the trip task merely examined 3-year-olds. In order to investigate how future projections develop, we examined a total of 241 preschool children in three age groups (35-, 47-, and 55-month-olds). As expected, the results revealed a developmental progression with the older children outperforming their younger peers. The obtained results correspond to existing evidence using behavioral tasks, and thereby underscores the robustness of previous findings showing that the ability to project oneself into the future undergoes a marked development from 3 to 5 years of age. In addition, and more specifically, the results presented here when considered together with other evidence, may suggest a hitherto neglected developmental spurt from around 3.5- to 4-years of age in relation to episodic future thinking, calling for further research in this age range.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNordic Psychology (Online)
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Feb 2021

Bibliographical note

This research was supported by the VELUX Foundation [VELUX 10386] and the Danish National Research Foundation [DNRF 89].

    Research areas

  • episodic memory, future projections, self, trip task

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