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ERIC Number: EJ859199
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Nov
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0010-0277
Monkey Business: Children's Use of Character Identity to Infer Shared Properties
Rhemtulla, Mijke; Hall, D. Geoffrey
Cognition, v113 n2 p167-176 Nov 2009
Children's toys provide a rich arena for investigating conceptual flexibility, because they often can be understood as possessing an individual identity at multiple levels of abstraction. For example, many dolls (e.g., Winnie-the-Pooh) and action figures (e.g., Batman) can be construed either as characters from a fictional world or as physical objects in the real world. In two experiments, 72 4- and 5-year-olds took part in a property extension task, the results of which provide evidence of an understanding that (1) two representations of a character share certain properties in virtue of their shared character identity, and this sharing does not stem simply from having the same name, and (2) one representation of a character is more likely to share properties with another representation of the character if the properties were acquired by the character than if they were acquired by the representation. Children's understanding of a representational object's abstract character identity thus enabled them to transcend using its unique spatio-temporal history as a sole basis for inferring its idiosyncratic properties. (Contains 1 table and 1 figure.)
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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