Problem Solving during Infancy and Early Childhood, Development of

Hiromitsu Miyata*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Problem solving forms an essential part of daily intellectual activities, not only for adults but also for infants and young children. Planning, or the internal processes that mediate an intended action, is a crucial cognitive component for efficient problem solving, with its earliest precursor observed in infants below 1 year of age. This article reviews representative empirical research in the field, which involves various behavioral tasks including tool use such as spoons, tube problems, and maze tasks. Mental processes underlying these behaviors develop from simple prospection of events to organizing different event sequences to face novel problems.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences: Second Edition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9780080970875
ISBN (Print)9780080970868
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Mar 26
Externally publishedYes


  • Cognitive development
  • Infants
  • Maze
  • Mental representation
  • Metacognition
  • Motor skills
  • Planning
  • Problem solving
  • Prospective control
  • Sequential action
  • Tool use
  • Young children

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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