ERIC Number: EJ922089
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Nov
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Preschoolers' Use of Surface Similarity in Object Comparisons: Taking Context into Account
Paik, Jae H.; Mix, Kelly S.
Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, v95 n3 p194-214 Nov 2006
Previous research has emphasized the role of within-match similarity in children's comparisons. The current study investigated another potentially important contributing factor, namely the distinctiveness of the matching items relative to other items in the scene. Using a well-known relational mapping task, we found that 3- and 4-year-olds made more correct matches between identical objects when those objects were maximally distinctive from the foils. In a cross-mapping experiment, where same relative size was pitted against object similarity, 3-year-olds made more incorrect object matches when the objects were both similar to each other and distinctive from the foils. Furthermore, 3- and 4-year-olds performed the same, regardless of within-match similarity, so long as the ratios of within-match and nonmatch similarity were roughly equal. These findings suggest that children's comparisons are guided by a ratio consisting of many pairwise similarity relations, including (but not limited to) the degree of within-match similarity.
Descriptors: Preschool Children, Early Childhood Education, Preschool Education, Comparative Analysis, Experiments, Object Manipulation
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Preschool Education
Authoring Institution: N/A