Book Handling Behaviors in Early Childhood: Evidence from Eye Movement Monitoring
Current literature shows that orientation preference becomes consistent by the age of 30 months, despite the fact that the ability to process inverted images is already consistent by the age of 18 months (DeLoache, Uttal, & Pierroutsakos, 2000; Pierroutsakos, DeLoache, Gound, & Bernard, 2005). This study systematically examined book-handling behaviors of 18- to 30-month-old children to determine whether familiarity and the level of top-bottom visual cues of a picture book may affect young children’s orientation preferences. Participants were five children ranging from 18 to 30 months of age. They never changed the book’s orientation when it was upright, and only occasionally changed it when it was upside down. On most of the trials, the children turned the pages from right to left and visually scanned from left-to-right. The frequencies of these actions were similar when the book was in upright and in upside down orientation. Given so few participants, the results can only be exploratory.