Not entirely surprising. I remember an exhibit at the COSI Science Museum in Toledo, Ohio with some 4th and 5th graders I taught years ago that I think demonstrated the concreteness of our thinking as we grow older. There was a room with a tilted floor that children and adults could walk through. The walls though, rather than being still in square with the tilted floor, were all leaning toward the high side of the room, but not exactly vertical. I remember being surprisingly disoriented, some other adults I was with could hardly stand in the room with their eyes open without being subject to a feeling of vertigo and slight nausea.

Children, on the other hand, would walk through the room and notice the changes, but they did not seem to have balance issues or feelings of sickness.

Turns out, a description of the exhibit on the wall explained that adults, being far more used to seeing walls, doorways, ceilings, and other structures at ninety degree angles had a greater difficulty dealing with the information that was out of their typical cognitive schema than would children whose mental schema of the world was much more malleable.

Makes me wonder what other perceptual differences there are between children and adults.

posted by jladronka: 1881 days ago