Classroom behavior of reflective and impulsive children

Melvin G. Moore, Ron Haskins, James D. McKinney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Seventy-nine children, nine or eleven years old, classified as reflective or impulsive by the Matching Familiar Figures (MFF) test, were observed in public school classrooms. A total of 15 behavioral categories were selected to capture activities often labeled "reflective" or "impulsive" in the literature. Children were observed in each of three classroom settings-Individual Work, Large Group instruction, and Small Group instruction. Thirty minutes of observational data on each child revealed substantial differences in the behavior of older and younger children and across the three settings. By contrast, there was only a minor difference in the behavior of reflective and impulsive children. These results suggest that the concept of reflection-impulsivity, as operationalized by the MFF, should be limited to tasks that involve response uncertainty, and should not be used to imply differences in the typical classroom behavior of children classified as reflective or impulsive by the MFF.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-75
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Applied Developmental Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1980

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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