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ERIC Number: EJ850115
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0885-2014
Bridging the Gap: Causality-at-a-Distance in Children's Categorization and Inferences about Internal Properties
Sobel, David M.; Buchanan, David W.
Cognitive Development, v24 n3 p274-283 Jul-Sep 2009
Previous research has shown that preschoolers extend labels and internal properties of objects based on those objects' causal properties, even when the causal properties conflict with the objects' perceptual appearance [Nazzi, T., & Gopnik, A. (2000). "A shift in children's use of perceptual and causal cues to categorization." "Developmental Science," 3, 389-396; Sobel, D. M., Yoachim, C. M., Gopnik, A., Meltzoff, A. N., & Blumenthal, E. J. (2007). "The blicket within: Preschoolers' inferences about insides and causes." "Journal of Cognition and Development," 8, 159-182]. These studies, however, only presented causal relations that acted on contact. In two studies, contact causality was replaced by distance causality. In contrast to the contact causality case, 4- and 5-year-olds extended labels to objects with similar perceptual properties over objects with similar causal properties when those properties acted at a distance. When children were asked to make inferences about object's internal properties, they were more likely to make causal responses, with 5-year-olds doing so to a greater extent than 4-year-olds. In a second study, 4-year-olds registered causal properties that acted at a distance and used them to make inferences when no perceptual conflict was present. These results support a hypothesis that young children develop an understanding of the specific mechanisms that link causal relations. (Contains 2 figures and 2 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A