ERIC Number: ED021228
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1968-Feb-1
Reference Count: 0
Children's Color Categories and the Problem of Language and Cognition.
Dale, Philip Scott
Twenty-four four-year-old children were given a perceptual task (color matching), a memory task (color recognition), and a verbal task (color naming). The relation between the children's performance on the nonverbal and verbal tasks was demonstrated by the fact that nearly all the matching and recognition responses, even when incorrect, were from the same naming class as the stimulus color. Contrary to expectations, this tendency was stronger on the matching task than on the recognition task. Only those children who spontaneously named the colors as they were presented showed this effect on the recognition task. As a result of this experiment, a model is proposed in which perception of colors leads to two distinct encodings: one representational and one symbolic. The two can have different internal histories, but if the symbolic encoding is present at the time of response selection, it will influence the output. However, the symbolic encoding is very short-lived for these young children, and it will be forgotten unless rehearsed overtly. This model is considered in terms of mediation; and it is argued that the non-namers in the recognition task do not suffer from production deficiency, but rather from mediational deficiency, resulting from a lack of memory for the mediator. These conclusions differ from the weak form of the Whorf hypothesis in that two distinct, concurrent encodings are assumed. (DO)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC. Bureau of Research.
Authoring Institution: Michigan Univ., Ann Arbor. Center for Research on Language and Language Behavior.
Identifiers: Categorical Perception; Color Categories; Whorfian Hypothesis
Note: Report included in Studies in Language and Language Behavior, Progress Report No. VI.