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ERIC Number: EJ923351
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0885-2014
What Children Infer from Social Categories
Diesendruck, Gil; Eldror, Ehud
Cognitive Development, v26 n2 p118-126 Apr-Jun 2011
Children hold the belief that social categories have essences. We investigated what kinds of properties children feel licensed to infer about a person based on social category membership. Seventy-two 4-6-year-olds were introduced to novel social categories defined as having one internal--psychological or biological--and one external--behavioral or physical--property. For half of the participants, the internal property was described as causing the external one; for the others, no causal relationship between properties was mentioned. Children were asked to choose as a novel exemplar of a category one with only the internal or only the external property. Children inferred that exemplars had a psychological property irrespective of causal status, but they inferred the presence of a biological property only when described as causal. Children did not draw systematic inferences regarding either of the two external properties. These findings indicate that children treat psychological and causal properties as central--and perhaps essential--to human kinds.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A