ERIC Number: ED176874
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Developmental Differences in Concept Acquisition Strategies.
Kossan, Nancy E.
This study investigated developmental differences in the use of the common features abstraction strategy and the exemplar learning strategy for concept acquisition. Subjects were 30 second graders and 30 fifth graders. The concepts to be learned were two categories of artificial animals which differed on five dimensions. Each dimension had three possible values. Attention to more than one dimension was necessary for categorization. One half of the second and fifth grade subjects learned the two categories in the concept reception condition, which encouraged abstraction of common features from concept exemplars. The remaining subjects at each age level learned the animals in a paired associate learning condition, which encouraged subjects to memorize individual exemplars. Training trials were followed by a categorization test. Subjects in both conditions were shown 18 animal pictures and were asked to categorize each animal into one of two categories. Among the results, fifth graders were more successful at categorization than second graders. Second graders in the paired associate condition categorized more items correctly than second graders in the concept reception condition. It was concluded that the concept acquisition strategies of young children appear to be based on extensional information, i.e., concept exemplars, rather than on intensional criteria such as defining features. (Author/RH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (San Francisco, California, March 15-18, 1979)