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Title: The development of tactical strategy
Author: Edmonds, Caroline Jane
ISNI:       0000 0001 2424 7516
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2001
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This thesis considers the development of tactical strategy. Tactically strategic behaviour is employed in competitive interactions in which individuals are trying to obtain the same limited set of resources. Tactical strategy is demonstrated when children try to out-manoeuvre an opponent and in doing so take into account prior knowledge about the way in which others generally behave. Anticipatory switches in guessing strategy were selected as a form of tactically strategic behaviour amenable to experimental analysis. This thesis reports the development of two novel procedures that allow the assessment of anticipatory switches in guessing strategy. These procedures were based on simple guessing games in which, unbeknown to the child, the experimenter uses a predictable hiding sequence. Children's guessing behaviour was examined to evaluate whether they made anticipatory changes in guessing strategy, once they had discovered the hiding sequence. An exploration of the parameters of these procedures enabled evidence of tactical strategy to be found in progressively younger children. The experiments reported in this thesis indicate evidence of tactically strategic behaviour in children from the age of 5. This age is rather younger than might be predicted from earlier research. The findings of these experiments suggest that tactically strategic behaviour may emerge at approximately 3- to 4-years of age, implying that the study of this age group would have greatest implications for the understanding of the development of tactical strategy in children. Preliminary results encourage further research investigating how tactical strategy is related to both theory of mind and executive functions. However, no strong conclusions can be made about such relationships from the findings of the experiments reported here. Future research should also consider the role of social development in tactically strategic behaviour.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Interactions