NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ872545
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 64
ISSN: ISSN-0009-3920
Sensing the Coherence of Biology in Contrast to Psychology: Young Children's Use of Causal Relations to Distinguish Two Foundational Domains
Erickson, Jane E.; Keil, Frank C.; Lockhart, Kristi L.
Child Development, v81 n1 p390-409 Jan-Feb 2010
To what extent do children understand that biological processes fall into 1 coherent domain unified by distinct causal principles? In Experiments 1 and 2 (N = 125) kindergartners are given triads of biological and psychological processes and asked to identify which 2 members of the triad belong together. Results show that 5-year-olds correctly cluster biological processes and separate them from psychological ones. Experiments 3 and 4 (N = 64) examine whether or not children make this distinction because they understand that biological and psychological processes operate according to fundamentally different causal mechanisms. The results suggest that 5-year-olds do possess this understanding, and furthermore, they have intuitions about the nature of these different mechanisms. (Contains 5 figures.)
Wiley-Blackwell. 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148. Tel: 800-835-6770; Tel: 781-388-8598; Fax: 781-388-8232; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Kindergarten
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A