ERIC Number: ED331638
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Principle-Based Inferences in Preschoolers' Categorization of Novel Artifacts.
Nelson, Deborah G. Kemler; And Others
Two parallel studies investigated the influence of principle-based and attribute-based similarity relations on new category learning by preschoolers. One of two possible functions of a single novel artifact (which differed between studies) was modeled for children and practiced by children. Children then judged which test objects received the same name as the original. Test objects were either globally similar or dissimilar in appearance from the original. These objects were designed in such a way that each could be inferred to afford only one of the two possible functions. A total of 16 preschool children participated in each study. Findings indicated that patterns of categorization depended on which original function had been experienced. It is concluded that categorization into newly learned categories may activate self-initiated, principle-based reasoning in young children. However, categorization was also influenced by overall similarity. The finding that preschoolers' categorization and naming are consistently influenced by functional information came as a surprise in light of previous research efforts. (Author/RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Functional Properties; Similarity (Concept)
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (Seattle, WA, April 18-20, 1991).