ERIC Number: EJ1100932
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Abstractor: As Provided
Preexposure to Objects That Contrast in Familiarity Improves Young Children's Lexical Knowledge Judgment
Hartin, Travis L.; Stevenson, Colleen M.; Merriman, William E.
Language Learning and Development, v12 n3 p311-327 2016
The ability to judge the limits of one's own knowledge may play an important role in knowledge acquisition. The current study tested the prediction that preschoolers would judge the limits of their lexical knowledge more accurately if they were first exposed to a few objects of contrasting familiarity. Such preexposure was hypothesized to increase the salience of the metacognitive experiences that distinguish known from unknown kinds. These experiences include both the feeling of familiarity that a kind evokes and the amount of information about the kind that is retrieved spontaneously. In Experiment 1, 3- and 4-year-olds performed a matching task involving familiar and unfamiliar objects, then made lexical knowledge judgments about both objects and words. The accuracy of these judgments was predicted to exceed that of children who had not performed a matching task (Experiment 1) or who had performed one involving wooden blocks (Experiment 1) or only familiar objects (Experiment 2). This prediction was supported for children with vocabulary sizes typical of a younger 4-year-old but not for children with larger vocabularies. Additional analyses suggested that the primary source of error in the former group was insensitivity to both feeling of familiarity and amount of information retrieval. In contrast, the occasional errors made by the children with the larger vocabularies were likely due to lapses in executive control.
Descriptors: Familiarity, Young Children, Knowledge Level, Learning, Preschool Children, Prediction, Experiments, Objective Tests, Vocabulary, Metacognition, Foreign Countries, Correlation, Cues, Semantics
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A