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ERIC Number: EJ939693
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: 28
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 44
ISSN: ISSN-1524-8372
Do Both Pictures and Words Function as Symbols for 18- and 24-Month-Old Children?
Preissler, Melissa Allen; Carey, Susan
Journal of Cognition and Development, v5 n2 p185-212 2004
In Experiment 1, 24-month-old toddlers were taught a new word ("whisk") through the labeling of a picture of a whisk. After repeated pairings of the word and picture, participants were shown the picture and a real whisk and asked to indicate the whisk. They took the word to refer to the real object rather than to the picture. Experiment 2 established that children were not biased to select any novel real object in the test trial. Rather, the results from Experiment 1 reflected the child's interpretation of the word as referring to the pictured kind. A third study confirmed that a novelty preference within a perceptually specified category could not account for the results of Experiment 1. A final study (Experiment 4) examined whether 18-month-old infants also understand pictures and words as symbols, and results were comparable to those of Experiments 1 and 2. Taken together, these results confirm that the mapping between words and objects for 18- and 24-month-olds is a referential relation, as opposed to an associative one. Furthermore, these results show that children as young as 18 months begin to understand the symbolic nature of pictures. (Contains 5 figures and 3 footnotes.)
Psychology Press. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Preschool Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A