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ERIC Number: EJ911664
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Feb
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0010-0277
What's New? Children Prefer Novelty in Referent Selection
Horst, Jessica S.; Samuelson, Larissa K.; Kucker, Sarah C.; McMurray, Bob
Cognition, v118 n2 p234-244 Feb 2011
Determining the referent of a novel name is a critical task for young language learners. The majority of studies on children's referent selection focus on manipulating the sources of information (linguistic, contextual and pragmatic) that children can use to solve the referent mapping problem. Here, we take a step back and explore how children's endogenous biases towards novelty and their own familiarity with novel objects influence their performance in such a task. We familiarized 2-year-old children with previously novel objects. Then, on novel name referent selection trials children were asked to select the referent from three novel objects: two previously seen and one completely novel object. Children demonstrated a clear bias to select the most novel object. A second experiment controls for pragmatic responding and replicates this finding. We conclude, therefore, that children's referent selection is biased by previous exposure and children's endogenous bias to novelty. (Contains 3 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A