NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ895128
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0885-2014
Human-Centeredness Is Not a Universal Feature of Young Children's Reasoning: Culture and Experience Matter when Reasoning about Biological Entities
Medin, Douglas; Waxman, Sandra; Woodring, Jennie; Washinawatok, Karen
Cognitive Development, v25 n3 p197-207 Jul-Sep 2010
We consider young children's construals of biological phenomena and the forces that shape them, using Carey's (1985) category-based induction task that demonstrated anthropocentric reasoning in young urban children. Follow-up studies (including our own) have questioned the generality of her results, but they have employed quite different procedures and either have not included urban children or, when urban samples were included, have failed to reproduce her original findings. In the present study of 4-10-year-olds from three cultural communities, our procedures followed Carey's more closely and replicated her findings with young urban children. However, they yielded quite different results for young rural European American and young rural Native American children. These results underscore the importance of a complex interaction of culture and experience--including both day-to-day interactions with the natural world and sensitivity to the belief systems of the communities--in children's reasoning about the natural world. (Contains 2 figures and 1 table.)
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 - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A