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ERIC Number: EJ845725
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Aug
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0010-0277
The Importance of Differentiation in Young Children's Acquisition of Expertise
Blair, Mark; Somerville, Susan C.
Cognition, v112 n2 p259-280 Aug 2009
In a short-term longitudinal study, stories told about novel creatures conveyed information varying in its capability for differentiating. Depending on the context, a bodily feature could be functionally undifferentiated (FUF), meaning that its subtypes (e.g., eyes of two forms) shared a generic function ("seeing"), or functionally differentiated (FDF), meaning that each subtype's function was unique to it (e.g., only a "hooded eye" could "see in a sandstorm"). 5- to 6-year-olds who heard 8 stories, but not those who heard only 4, cited FDFs more than FUFs in a pair-justification test of judged similarity; and their delayed recall of specific story events was greater when FDFs rather than FUFs were involved. In the absence of direct instruction, young children show sensitivity to the degree of differentiation afforded by feature-function relations. (Contains 2 tables and 2 figures.)
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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