ERIC Number: EJ781427
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jan
Reference Count: 0
Was It Designed to Do That? Children's Focus on Intended Function in Their Conceptualization of Artifacts
Asher, Yvonne M.; Kemler Nelson, Deborah G.
Cognition, v106 n1 p474-483 Jan 2008
Do young children who seek the conceptual kind of an artifact weigh the plausibility that a current function constitutes the function intended by the object designer? Three- and four-year-olds were encouraged to question adults about novel artifacts. After inquiring about what an object was, some children were shown a function that plausibly accounted for the structural features of the object; others were shown a possible, but implausible function. Children given implausible functions were less satisfied with these responses than those given plausible functions, as shown by their more persistent attempts to ask follow-up questions about function. Accordingly, preschoolers appear to take into account matters of intentional design when assigning artifacts to conceptual kinds.
Descriptors: Classification, Young Children, Inquiry, Preschool Children, Adults, Design, User Satisfaction (Information)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Preschool Education
Authoring Institution: N/A