Delayed self-recognition in 2.5-year-old children: Evidence of a restricted sense of self?

Helen Skouteris, Laura Boscaglia, Kelly Searl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


In two experiments, we explored whether 2.5-year-olds can use delayed video information to locate objects placed somewhere covertly after first being given pre-test video experience. Our findings revealed that children had little difficulty passing a surprise-object task, that is, a teddy bear hidden in a box that was placed behind the child and hence only visible in the delayed video. In contrast, the children did not pass the surprise-mark task or delayed self-recognition (DSR) task, even with pre-test video training. Similarly, delayed self-image experience and pre-test video training did not facilitate DSR performance in 2.5-year-olds. Children were also just as likely to fail a live video self-recognition task, suggesting that object-retrieval tasks pertaining to self using video information are difficult for children at this age. The findings are discussed in light of possible changes in representational capabilities; the implications for the development of a temporally extended self are also noted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)258-280
Number of pages23
JournalEuropean Journal of Developmental Psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2009
Externally publishedYes

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