ERIC Number: ED264033
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Development of the Composition of Children's Categories.
Anziano, Michael C.; Keenan, Verne
Two experiments with 167 first-, third-, and fifth-grade children revealed age-related changes in the composition of natural categories. Categorization was investigated via perceptual similarities of objects and conceptual similarities of superordinate classes. The free-classification paradigm (Garner, 1974) was adapted to natural categories, extending present work on categorization and assessing typicality effects in a complex context. Results indicated that first-graders sorted triads by perceptual similarities among object features; fifth-graders tended to classify by real world superordinate similarity; third-graders mixed both types. All children who received a brief demonstration of potential similarity relations categorized more by conceptual criteria than by simple similarity of features. Significant main effects were found for the variables of grade, instruction, and typicality. It is concluded that the abstract category structure is within the repertoire of younger children, but perceptual similarity may be the compelling basis of early categorization. (Author/RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (69th, Chicago, IL, March 31-April 4, 1985).