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ERIC Number: EJ1140486
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0009-3920
Diverse Effects, Complex Causes: Children Use Information about Machines' Functional Diversity to Infer Internal Complexity
Ahl, Richard E.; Keil, Frank C.
Child Development, v88 n3 p828-845 May-Jun 2017
Four studies explored the abilities of 80 adults and 180 children (4-9 years), from predominantly middle-class families in the Northeastern United States, to use information about machines' observable functional capacities to infer their internal, "hidden" mechanistic complexity. Children as young as 4 and 5 years old used machines' numbers of functions as indications of complexity and matched machines performing more functions with more complex "insides" (Study 1). However, only older children (6 and older) and adults used machines' functional diversity alone as an indication of complexity (Studies 2-4). The ability to use functional diversity as a complexity cue therefore emerges during the early school years, well before the use of diversity in most categorical induction tasks.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A