The “Batman Effect”: Improving Perseverance in Young Children

Rachel E. White, Emily O. Prager, Catherine Schaefer, Ethan Kross, Angela L. Duckworth, Stephanie M. Carlson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study investigated the benefits of self-distancing (i.e., taking an outsider's view of one's own situation) on young children's perseverance. Four- and 6-year-old children (N = 180) were asked to complete a repetitive task for 10 min while having the option to take breaks by playing an extremely attractive video game. Six-year-olds persevered longer than 4-year-olds. Nonetheless, across both ages, children who impersonated an exemplar other—in this case a character, such as Batman—spent the most time working, followed by children who took a third-person perspective on the self, or finally, a first-person perspective. Alternative explanations, implications, and future research directions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1563-1571
Number of pages9
JournalChild development
Volume88
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 The Authors. Child Development © 2016 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.

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