The Effects of Event-Control and
Self-Control on Children’s Mental-
LIU Yan1,2; YANG Li-Zhu1,2; HOU Yu-Xin1; ZHOU Xu1
1. Research Center of Psychological Development and Education,
Liaoning Normal University, Dalian 116029, China
2 . Department of Psychology, Liaoning Normal University, Dalian
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Mental time travel comprises the mental reconstruction
of personal events from the past (episodic memory) and
the mental construction of possible events in the future
(foresight) (Suddendorf & Corballis, 1997).
The current study exams whether event-control and self
-control can affect children’s mental time travel ability.
Fifty-seven 4-year olds were randomly assigned to one of
two conditions: remembering past experiences or
simulating future events.
Children were asked questions about the same ten events,
phrased in past or future tense.
³Half of these events were ones for which parents rated
their children as having a high level of control over how
the event unfolds
³whereas others were rated as “low control”.
Children were further divided into two groups (high self-
control or low self-control) according to the waiting time
in delay-of-gratification test.
Table1 the descriptive statistics of episodic memory and
foresight of 4-year-old children in different conditions
Children with low self-control ability remembered more
specific past experiences for high-control events compared
with low-control events.
Children generated more specific and accurate future
imagination for high-control events compared with low-
Event-control had an effect on mental time
travel ability of 4 year olds.