Influences on the effectiveness of peer interaction: Children's level of cognitive development and the relative ability of partners

David J Messer, Richard Joiner, Nerys Loveridge, Paul Light, [No Value] et al

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Tested the idea that children's peer interaction aids learning and performance, in contrast to a model proposed by A. Karmiloff-Smith (1984), which suggests that at certain phases of cognitive development children may ignore feedback and information from task activities. In Study 1, 7 children (aged 6-7 yrs) worked in pairs to balance a beam on a fulcrum during a computer task. The performance on a posttest did not support either viewpoint. Ss who worked with a more able partner performed significantly worse than others. A 2nd study involving 38 children (aged 6-8 yrs) suggested that this effect may be due to the more able Ss having an incomplete understanding of the computer task. Findings indicate that peer interaction can result in poorer learning outcomes and that Karmiloff-Smith's model should include the possibility of peer interaction effects. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-294
Number of pages16
JournalSocial Development
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1993


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