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ERIC Number: EJ1004001
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Jan
Pages: 29
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 42
ISSN: ISSN-0272-930X
The Medium Is the Message: Pictures and Objects Evoke Distinct Conceptual Relations in Parent-Child Conversations
Ware, Elizabeth A.; Gelman, Susan A.; Kleinberg, Felicia
Merrill-Palmer Quarterly: Journal of Developmental Psychology, v59 n1 Article 3 p50-78 Jan 2013
An important developmental task is learning to organize experience by forming conceptual relations among entities. (For example, a "lion" and a "snake" can be linked because both are animals; a lion and a cage can be linked because the "lion" lives in the "cage".) We propose that representational medium (i.e., pictures vs. objects) plays an important role in influencing which relations children consider. Prior work has demonstrated that pictures more readily evoke broader categories, whereas objects more readily call attention to specific individuals. We therefore predicted that pictures would encourage taxonomic and shared-property relations, whereas objects would encourage thematic and slot-filler relations. We observed 32 mother-child dyads (M child ages = 2.9 and 4.3) playing with pictures and objects, and identified utterances in which they made taxonomic, thematic, shared-property, or slot-filler links between items. The results confirmed our predictions and thus support representational medium as an important factor that influences the conceptual relations expressed during dyadic conversations. (Contains 4 tables and 1 figure.)
Wayne State University Press. The Leonard N. Simons Building, 4809 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, MI 48201-1309. Tel: 800-978-7323; Fax: 313-577-6131; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A