The Self-Observation of Performance and Young Children’s Task Interest

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2 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of self-observed competence on young children’s task interest. Preschool children (N = 32) were surreptitiously videotaped while they played a bean bag game. On the basis of their performance, the children were assigned to either a high- or low-performance group. Half of the children were shown their videotape once prior to the two free-choice periods. The other children viewed their videotapes after the first but prior to the second free-choice period. The self-observation procedure significantly increased subsequent free-choice task engagement only for the high-performance group, as analyzed by both between-subjects and within-subjects procedures. High performance alone was not sufficient to enhance subsequent task interest, but it was only when it was made salient through videotape feedback. The results are consistent with theories of perceived competence. Self-observation and competence may depend on developmental factors that affect children’s ability to monitor and process information regarding their performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-78
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Genetic Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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