ERIC Number: EJ1058400
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-May
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Individual Differences in the Shape Bias in Preschool Children with Specific Language Impairment and Typical Language Development: Theoretical and Clinical Implications
Collisson, Beverly Anne; Grela, Bernard; Spaulding, Tammie; Rueckl, Jay G.; Magnuson, James S.
Developmental Science, v18 n3 p373-388 May 2015
We investigated whether preschool children with specific language impairment (SLI) exhibit the shape bias in word learning: the bias to generalize based on shape rather than size, color, or texture in an object naming context ("This is a wek; find another wek") but not in a non-naming similarity classification context ("See this? Which one goes with this one?"). Fifty-four preschool children (16 with SLI, 16 children with typical language [TL] in an equated control group, and 22 additional children with TL included in individual differences analyses but not group comparisons) completed a battery of linguistic and cognitive assessments and two experiments. In Experiment 1, children made generalization choices in object naming and similarity classification contexts on separate days, from options similar to a target object in shape, color, or texture. On average, TL children exhibited the shape bias in an object naming context, but children with SLI did not. In Experiment 2, we tested whether the failure to exhibit the shape bias might be linked to ability to detect systematicities in the visual domain. Experiment 2 supported this hypothesis, in that children with SLI failed to learn simple paired visual associations that were readily learned by children with TL. Analyses of individual differences in the two studies revealed that visual paired-associate learning predicted degree of shape bias in children with SLI and TL better than any other measure of nonverbal intelligence or standard assessments of language ability. We discuss theoretical and clinical implications.
Descriptors: Preschool Children, Language Impairments, Bias, Geometric Concepts, Naming, Comparative Analysis, Control Groups, Experimental Groups, Cognitive Tests, Language Tests, Generalization, Proximity, Classification, Color, Visual Perception, Hypothesis Testing, Association (Psychology), Individual Differences, Nonverbal Ability, Intelligence
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
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