NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ847615
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jul
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0010-0277
The Development of Category Learning Strategies: What Makes the Difference?
Hammer, Rubi; Diesendruck, Gil; Weinshall, Daphna; Hochstein, Shaul
Cognition, v112 n1 p105-119 Jul 2009
Category learning can be achieved by identifying common features among category members, distinctive features among non-members, or both. These processes are psychologically and computationally distinct, and may have implications for the acquisition of categories at different hierarchical levels. The present study examines an account of children's difficulty in acquiring categories at the subordinate level grounded on these distinct comparison processes. Adults and children performed category learning tasks in which they were exposed either to pairs of objects from the same novel category or pairs of objects from different categories. The objects were designed so that for each category learning task, two features determined category membership whereas two other features were task irrelevant. In the learning stage participants compared pairs of objects noted to be either from the same category or from different categories. Object pairs were chosen so that the objective amount of information provided to the participants was identical in the two learning conditions. We found that when presented only with object pairs noted to be from the same category, young children (6 [less than or equal to] YO [less than or equal to] 9.5) learned the novel categories just as well as older children (10 [less than or equal to] YO [less than or equal to] 14) and adults. However, when presented only with object pairs known to be from different categories, unlike older children and adults, young children failed to learn the novel categories. We discuss cognitive and computational factors that may give rise to this comparison bias, as well as its expected outcomes. (Contains 3 tables and 6 figures.)
Elsevier. 6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, FL 32887-4800. Tel: 877-839-7126; Tel: 407-345-4020; Fax: 407-363-1354; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A