ABSTRACT

This chapter concerns the prediction of children's ability from attentional processes in infancy and the second concerns the influence of social interaction on these attentional processes. Part of the justification for the interest in mastery behaviour comes from its relation to later cognitive abilities, as indicated in by the arrows between exploration, sustained attention, goal directedness and later IQ. The chapter considers whether congenital abilities in habituation and novelty preference predict later intelligence. It also considers another possibility, that social interaction affects these attentional processes. The chapter proposes that the pace and content of social interaction influence habituation and novelty preference. It suggests that sustained periods of interaction may assist the development of mastery motivation. In relation to this, it is worth remembering that habituation and novelty preference measures start to show predictability for IQ at about 34 months. The social interaction has a major early influence on information-processing skills.