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    ABSTRACT: Desde temprano en sus vidas, los niños están expuestos a una variedad de representaciones figurativas en fotografías, libros, en la televisión y el video. Este artículo postula que a pesar de la similitud perceptual entre estas imágenes y sus referentes, su comprensión es un proceso complejo en el que participan mecanismos perceptuales, cognitivos y socio-cognitivos. La primera parte del artículo revisa investigaciones que han identificado los principales hitos evolutivos en la comprensión de las representaciones figurativas y los mecanismos perceptuales y cognitivos que subyacen a este proceso. Este análisis permite proponer tres fases en este desarrollo (pre-simbólica, simbólica y post-simbólica) desde el nacimiento hasta el comienzo de los años escolares. La segunda parte examina la influencia en la comprensión de factores relacionados con el contexto social, específicamente la experiencia simbólica y la intención del creador y/o el usuario de una imagen. De esta manera, las habilidades para la cognición social y el aprendizaje cultural son también cruciales en el conocimiento y uso de representaciones figurativas. Palabras clave: Representaciones figurativas; Comprensión; Representación dual; Experiencia simbólica; Intencionalidad. From early in infancy, children are exposed to a wide variety of figurative representations; they read picture books and magazines with their parents and look at family photos and images on television and video. Figurative representations are a particular type of external representations. An external representation is "something that someone intends to stand for or represent something other than itself" (DeLoache, 1995, p.109). Figurative representations are two-dimensional representations highly similar to their referents; however, this article develops the idea that even though this perceptual similarity, figurative representations are not transparent objects for very young children. Understanding the dual nature of pictures, that they are things in themselves and communicate meaning by referring to some other reality, is a lengthy and complex developmental process influenced by perceptual, cognitive and social-cognitive mechanisms. The first part of the article reviews studies that have identified the major milestones in pictorial comprehension and discusses the perceptual (discrimination, categorization) and cognitive mechanisms (concept formation, analogical reasoning, representational strategies) underlying this process. This analysis allows us to propose three phases of development from birth to the beginning of the school period: (1) a pre-symbolic phase, between 0 and 18 months of age, when infants mainly take a manipulative stance toward pictures; (2) a symbolic phase, between two and three years, when children comprehend and use the symbolic link between pictures and referents; and (3) a post-symbolic phase, after four years, when children understand that the contents of pictures remain stable despite any change made to the real objects they depict. The second part of the article examines the influence of social factors on pictorial comprehension, specifically symbolic experience and the intention of the creator and/or user of a picture. The supporting role of social factors in symbolic development has long been demonstrated in the domain of language (see Baldwin, 2000; Tomasello, 1999, 2003); in contrast, very little is known about the impact of social cognitive mechanisms (cultural learning, intentionality) in children’s knowledge of pictures. DeLoache (1995, 2002) proposed that with age children gain experience with symbols and develop a general expectation or readiness to look for and detect symbolic relations among entities. However, this paper presents evidence that symbolic experience has a crucial social dimension; supportive contexts that highlight the relation between pictorial symbols and their referents in close social interactions facilitate children’s comprehension of images (Callaghan & Rankin, 2002; Szechter & Liben, 2004). Cross-cultural and social differences in the age of onset of symbolic comprehension also support this hypothesis (Callaghan et al., 2011; Salsa, in press). Intention is both necessary and sufficient to establish a symbolic relation (Werner & Kaplan, 1963); understanding intentionality is especially important for interpreting symbols because their meaning is assigned by the symbol creator or user. There is abundant evidence that young infants (12 months) are sensitive to basic aspects of the intentions of adults who act on objects in the world, and that older infants (18-24 months) begin to discern the more subtle communicative intentions of adults found in the flow of actions found in social exchanges using language symbols (Tomasello, 2003). A few studies have explored whether children are sensitive to another person’s intention to represent when they name drawings or use photographs in a search task (Bloom & Markson, 1998; Gelman & Ebeling, 1998; Preissler & Bloom, 2008; Salsa & Peralta, 2007). Nevertheless, these studies show that children’s ability to read intentions is another privileged route towards symbolic understanding. Keywords: Figurative representations; Comprehension; Dual representation; Symbolic experience; Intentionality.
    Interdisciplinaria 04/2012; 29:133 - 149.
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    ABSTRACT: La ecolocación es una habilidad que usaría inconscientemente la mayoría de las personas. Resulta crucial para la movilidad independiente de la persona ciega e implica utilizar sonidos autoproducidos y sus reflexiones para localizar y reconocer objetos que no se ven. Dos nuevos paradigmas han enriquecido el estudio de esta sorprendente habilidad: el del acoplamiento sensoriomotor y el de la sustitución sensorial. El primero sostiene que los sistemas perceptivo y motor constituyen procesos acoplados que requieren un insoslayable tratamiento unificado. El segundo considera que es posible ver con los oídos o con la piel en virtud de la plasticidad cerebral. En esta segunda parte se presenta la temática en el contexto teórico de la cognición corporizada y de recientes avances en neurociencias; se desarrollan además los estudios realizados en el tercer período. En esta revisión se reflejan cambios paradigmáticos en las ciencias del comportamiento y el valor científico acrecentado de la ecolocación humana.
    Interdisciplinaria 07/2011; 28(1).
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    ABSTRACT: Self-efficacy is grounded in a larger theoretical framework known as social cognitive theory, which postulates that human achievement depends on interactions between one’s behaviors, personal factors and environmental conditions (Bandura, 1986, 1997). Self-efficacy is under - stood as a construct that includes a stable feature or believing that a person has about his own a - bility to deal with a wide range of stressor of daily life. Moreover, self-efficacy beliefs work as an important set of proximal determinants of human motivation, affect, and action (Bandura, 1989). The perception of self-efficacy has big impact on human adaptation and development. The General Self-Efficacy Scale was originally developed in Germany by Jerusalem and Schwarzer. At first they constructed a 20 itemversion and later as a reduced 10-item version (Jerusalem & Schwarzer, 1992; Schwarzer, 1993). The GSES is a 10-item, 4-point Likert type scale. It was developed to assess a general sense of perceived self-efficacy in order to predict how people manage coping with daily difficulties and stressful events. The GSES, de vel - oped to measure this construct at the broadest level, has been adapted to many languages. The psychometric properties of this instrument are examined among participants from 25 countries. Cronbach’s alphas ranged from .73 to .91 and the findings suggest the global of the underlying construct. The goal of this article is to report psychometric properties (reliability, validity and normative data) of the Argentinean adaptation of the Jerusalem and Schwarzer General Self-Effi - cacy Scale (GSES). In the present study, the scale was applied to a sample of 292 participants of Buenos Aires (Ar gentina). We carried out a Principal Com - ponents Analysis. The first Eigen value was clear ly higher than the others but the second Eigen value was a slight higher than unity (3.25; 1.16; .98; .86 y .75). One third (33%) of the variance is accounted for by first component, where as a second component would only account for 11% of the variance. The results show an appropriate internal consistency (.76) and significant correlations with planning (r = .417; p < .001) and activity strategies (r = .357; p < .001) of coping stress and a negative correlation with external locus of control (r = -.274; p < .001). In order to determine whether there were differences in scores by sex, age and educa - tion al level, we used the t Student and ANOVA tests. It was found a significant difference by sex (males: M = 33.6, SD = 3.24, and females: M = 32.6, SD = 3.43; t (287) = 2.814, p < .05), with similar average scores. Also, it was found a significant difference by age range (18 to 25: M = 32.4, SD = 2.9; 26 to 44: M = 32.9, DE = 3.2, and 45 to 65: M = 33.9, SD = 3.6; F (2, 286) = 5.142, p < .05) and education (Elementary school: M = 32.2, SD = 4.5; High School: M = 32.6, SD = 3.4; College Graduates: M = 33.9, SD = 3.0; F (2, 286) = 3.392, p < .035). But post hoc comparisons showed not significant differences between groups. According to this, differences found are not relevant and the perception of self-efficacy is similar for both sexes, age range or education level. Finally, all the results indicate evidences of reliability and validity of the Argentinean adaptation of the scale and guarantee it’s usefulness in future studies.
    Interdisciplinaria 01/2010; 27(1):77-94.
  • Interdisciplinaria 01/2010; 27(2):349.
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    ABSTRACT: Text comprehension can be considered a problem solving process more than an automatic one for young children (Kinstch, 1988, 1998). This study aims to identify the comprehension difficulties faced by 4 and 5-year-old children from low-income populations during story read ing at kindergarten, in Buenos Aires (Argentina). The analysis of teacher / student interaction in 26 story-reading settings in nine different classrooms was carried out using the comparative constant method (Glaser & Strauss, 1967; Strauss & Corbin, 1991), a qualitative method that allowed to inductively categorize these difficulties. According to this analysis, in reading situations at kindergarten, children form a mental representation of the text read to them through various cognitive processes: knowledge activation, inference making, processing of causal chains, the psychological level and knowledge of the narrative squema. These processes are based on different sources of information: the illustrations, the text, and the interactive process around the text. The difficulties observed are originated in the relationship between the children abilities and each of the sources. With regard to the difficulties originated in the pictures, the analysis showed that sometimes the illustrations do not represent the principal aspects of the plot, but they contradict the text or the title of the story. In other situations, the illustrations represent a part of the text that has not been read yet or they provide many details that distract the children, being an obstacle to the comprehension process. These observations are in agreement with those of Zazanis (1991) who has pointed out the difficulty inherent in coordinating information presented both in verbal and pictorial modalities. As regards to the text, the analysis showed that the difficulties for the comprehension processes in children arise when complex or abstract vocabulary is not understood, either because it has not been explained, or because the explanation provided by the teacher is not linked to the text. Metaphors have also proved to require a complex processing since they may activate world - knowledge that is not connected to the text, with the difficulty of inhibition observed in small children (Gernsbacher, 1990, 1997). The narrative structure is part of the text features that represents a difficulty for children who have not yet developed the operative control of the narrative squema (Stein & Glenn, 1982). Another difficulty encountered by young children is the processing of causal chains that provide coherence to any text (Rosemberg, 1994). In addition, the event causal relations may belong to the psychological level of narrative. In agreement with other studies (Fivush & Haden, 1997; Trabasso & Rodkin, 1994), it has been observed that children rarely refer to this level and they have trouble inferring psychological causes (Thompson & Myers, 1985). When teachers do not take into account these difficulties in children's interventions, because they focus on details of the text or the interactive process around the text lacks contingency or synchronicity, they cannot foster the formation of a mental representation of the text. Thus, children may form incomplete or incoherent mental representations that are not based on the textual cues. On the contrary, when teachers understand comprehension as a problem solving process, they can monitor it step by step, constructing the meaning of the text through the interaction with the children in a process of shared cognition (Borzone & Rosemberg, 1994; Manrique, 2009; Manrique & Borzone, 2007; Wertsch, 1998; Whitehurst & Valdez-Menchaca, 1992).
    Interdisciplinaria 01/2010; 27(2):209-228.
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    ABSTRACT: In the last few years, the emotional intelligence construct, defined by Salovey and Mayer (1990) as a domain of abilities specifically linked to the perception and utilization of emotions, has been the main core of different researches which have made an effort to measure and study this construct, yet there is no consensus regarding its definition and model. Integrating the theories existing up to this moment, Mayer, Salovey, and Caruso (2000) suggested that it is possible to distinguish between models based on ability (Mayer, Di Paolo & Salovey, 1990; Mayer & Salovey, 1997), and models based on features or mixed models (Goleman, 1996, 1999; Bar-On, 1997a, 1997b). Models founded on ability are based in the original conceptualization of emotional intelligence as defined by Salovey and Mayer (1990), which is characterized as a set of the abilities to perceive, understand and regulate emotions, and which are evaluated by means of tasks or tests of performance. On the other hand, mixed models, or based on features of emotional intelligence, are those which consider that abilities are associated to the processing and the use of emotions, combining those abilities with a wide variety of personality aspects, and which are evaluated by means of self-report measures. Bearing in mind that the approach used when measuring emotional intelligence could influence the validity of the construct, the latest developments have been focused in the study of psychometric properties of the tests...
    Interdisciplinaria 01/2008;

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