Cognizance in cognitive development: A longitudinal study
Abstract This study explored longitudinally how cognizance mediates between executive and reasoning process from 4 to 10 years of age. Four-, 6-, and 8-years old children were tested twice by executive (inhibition, flexibility in shifting, and working memory), cognizance (awareness of perceptual and inferential origins of knowledge, first- and second-order ToM, and awareness of similarities and differences between cognitive processes), and reasoning tasks (deductive and Raven-like fluid reasoning tasks). Perceptual awareness, first-order ToM, and simple inductive and deductive reasoning were acquired at preschool; inferential awareness, awareness of cognitive processes, and relational and deductive reasoning were mastered later in childhood. The various processes preserved their relative functional autonomy; however, there were two factors standing for their interactions: one for the state of ability at a time and one for general change dynamics. Latent change score modeling and latent transition analysis showed that cognizance was the best proxy of the general change factor collecting reasoning and executive influences early and leading transitions to higher level reasoning later. Implications for developmental, psychometric, and developmental psychopathology theories are discussed.