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ERIC Number: EJ1070099
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Jul
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0272-930X
Young Children's Ability to Use Ordinal Labels in a Spatial Search Task
Miller, Stephanie E.; Marcovitch, Stuart; Boseovski, Janet J.; Lewkowicz, David J.
Merrill-Palmer Quarterly: Journal of Developmental Psychology, v61 n3 Article2 p345-361 Jul 2015
The use and understanding of ordinal terms (e.g., "first" and "second") is a developmental milestone that has been relatively unexplored in the preschool age range. In the present study, 4- and 5-year-olds watched as a reward was placed in one of three train cars labeled by the experimenter with an ordinal (e.g., "first" car), color (e.g., "brown" car), or generic label (e.g., "that" car). Results revealed that 4-year-olds actually had more difficulty retrieving the reward once occluded under identical tunnels when they were provided with ordinal labels compared to color and generic labels. Search performance improved with age and showed dramatic growth in the ordinal-label condition from 4 to 5 years of age. Results are discussed with regard to children's ability to use verbal labels of developing conceptual knowledge (i.e., linked to ordinality) to guide behavior.
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: Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) (NIH)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: R01 HD35849