ERIC Number: ED231536
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1982-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
The Development of Inductive Strategy in Children's Early Thought and Language.
Preliminary evidence indicates that children begin to generalize knowledge in a new way at approximately 3 years of age. Forty children between 1.5 and 3.5 years of age were given two tasks of graded complexity. The first and simpler task used four nonoverlapping classes, each composed of four identical objects. Two of the classes were tagged with stickers hidden underneath. The second task used four crossed classes, each composed of four objects plus a fifth "unrelated" class. In this task, stickers were attached to two disjunctive classes. In both tasks, children were asked to determine which objects had stickers. The major finding was that, as age increased, the frequency of children's selection and organization of untagged objects also increased. In the process of establishing a particular category, subjects appeared to test the limits of that category by examining instances they believed did and did not belong. Younger children examined only additional likely instances of a specific category. This developmental process appeared to occur in children's reasoning about reality and in their acquisition of grammar. Although when very young children were confronted with a novel event, they compared it with something familiar, by age 3 or so they examined how their analogies didn't work and drew out implications of what they hadn't seen. (Author/RH)
Descriptors: Adults, Classification, Cognitive Development, Concept Formation, Generalization, Grammar, Induction, Infants, Language Acquisition, Preschool Children, Preschool Education
Laboratory of Comparative Human Cognition, Center for Human Information Processing, University of California, La Jolla, CA 92093 ($1.00).
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Child Health and Human Development (NIH), Bethesda, MD.; National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A