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ERIC Number: EJ890916
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Nov
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0022-0965
The Differing Roles of Comparison and Contrast in Children's Categorization
Namy, Laura L.; Clepper, Lauren E.
Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, v107 n3 p291-305 Nov 2010
Comparison of perceptually similar exemplars from an object category encourages children to overlook compelling perceptual similarities and use relational and functional properties more relevant for taxonomic categorization. This article investigates whether showing children a contrasting object that is perceptually similar but out of kind serves the same function as comparison in heightening children's attention to taxonomically relevant features. In this study, 4-year-olds completed a forced-choice categorization task in which they viewed exemplars from a target category and then selected among (a) a perceptually similar out-of-kind object, (b) a category member that differed perceptually from the exemplars, and (c) a thematically related object. Children were assigned to one of four conditions: No-Compare/No-Contrast, Compare/No-Contrast, No-Compare/Contrast, or Compare/Contrast. As in previous work, comparison increased the frequency of category responses, but there was no effect of contrast on categorization. However, only those in the Compare/Contrast condition displayed consistently taxonomic patterns of responding. Follow-up studies revealed that the effect of comparison plus contrast was evident only when comparison preceded, rather than followed, contrast information and that the value added by providing contrastive information is not attributable to the perceptual similarity between the category exemplars and the contrast object. Comparison and contrast make differing contributions to children's categorization. (Contains 3 figures and 2 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A