Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Peer Presence Effect on Numeracy and Literacy in 4th Graders: When Working With a Schoolmate Makes Children More Adult-Like

Version 1 : Received: 27 June 2021 / Approved: 28 June 2021 / Online: 28 June 2021 (15:03:09 CEST)

How to cite: Tricoche, L.; Monfardini, E.; Reynaud, A.J.; Epinat-Duclos, J.; Pélisson, D.; Prado, J.; Meunier, M. Peer Presence Effect on Numeracy and Literacy in 4th Graders: When Working With a Schoolmate Makes Children More Adult-Like. Preprints 2021, 2021060674 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202106.0674.v1). Tricoche, L.; Monfardini, E.; Reynaud, A.J.; Epinat-Duclos, J.; Pélisson, D.; Prado, J.; Meunier, M. Peer Presence Effect on Numeracy and Literacy in 4th Graders: When Working With a Schoolmate Makes Children More Adult-Like. Preprints 2021, 2021060674 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202106.0674.v1).

Abstract

The present study explores the potential impact of peers' omnipresence at school on children's academic performance. We tested 99 fourth-graders either alone or with a classmate in a task involving both numeracy and literacy skills: numerosity comparison and phonological comparison. Ninety-seven college-aged young adults were also tested on the same task, either alone or with a familiar peer. Peer presence yielded a reaction time (RT) speedup in children, and this social facilitation was at least as important as that seen in adults. RT distribution analyses indicated that the presence of a familiar peer promotes the emergence of adult-like features in children. This included shorter and less variable reaction times (confirmed by an ex-Gaussian analysis), increased use of an optimal response strategy and, based on Ratcliff’s diffusion model, speeded up non decision (memory and/or motor) processes. Peer presence thus allowed children to, at least, narrow (for demanding phonological comparisons), and, at best, virtually fill in (for unchallenging numerosity comparisons) the developmental gap separating them from adult levels of performance. These findings confirm the influence of peer presence on skills relevant to education and lay the ground for exploring how the brain mechanisms mediating this fundamental social influence evolve during development.

Subject Areas

social facilitation; social presence; peer presence; children; literacy; numeracy; reaction times distribution; ex-Gaussian model; diffusion model

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