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Inductive generalization with familiar categories: developmental changes in children's reliance on perceptual similarity and kind information.

Godwin KE, Fisher AV - Front Psychol (2015)

Bottom Line: The results were not fully consistent with either theoretical account.In contrast to the predictions of the naïve theory approach, the youngest children in the study did not ignore perceptually compelling lures in favor of category-match items; in contrast to the predictions of the similarity-based account, no group of participants favored perceptually compelling lures in the presence of dissimilar-looking category-match items.Consistent with the predictions of the similarity-based account, descriptor labels affected the performance of children in all age groups included in the study.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, PA, USA.

ABSTRACT
Inductive generalization is ubiquitous in human cognition; however, the factors underpinning this ability early in development remain contested. The present study was designed to (1) test the predictions of the naïve theory and a similarity-based account and (2) examine the mechanism by which labels promote induction. In Experiment 1, 3- to 5-year-old children made inferences about highly familiar categories. The results were not fully consistent with either theoretical account. In contrast to the predictions of the naïve theory approach, the youngest children in the study did not ignore perceptually compelling lures in favor of category-match items; in contrast to the predictions of the similarity-based account, no group of participants favored perceptually compelling lures in the presence of dissimilar-looking category-match items. In Experiment 2 we investigated the mechanisms by which labels promote induction by examining the influence of different label types, namely category labels (e.g., the target and category-match both labeled as bird) and descriptor labels (e.g., the target and the perceptual lure both labeled as brown) on induction performance. In contrast to the predictions of the naïve theory approach, descriptor labels but not category labels affected induction in 3-year-old children. Consistent with the predictions of the similarity-based account, descriptor labels affected the performance of children in all age groups included in the study. The implications of these findings for the developmental account of induction are discussed.

No MeSH data available.


Summary of children's performance on the Property Induction Task and the Naming Task across age groups. Error bars represent the standard errors of the mean.
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Figure 2: Summary of children's performance on the Property Induction Task and the Naming Task across age groups. Error bars represent the standard errors of the mean.

Mentions: A significant effect of age was found, F(2, 54) = 14.68, p < 0.0001, partial η2 = 0.35. Post-hoc Tukey tests indicated the following pattern of findings in children's proportion of category-match choices: 5-year-old children > 4-year-old children > 3-year-old children, all ps < 0.05. The effect size for the difference in induction performance between the 5-year-olds and the preschool children was large (5-year-olds vs. 4-year-olds Cohen's d = 1.0; 5-year-olds vs. 3-year-olds Cohen's d = 2.00), as was the effect size for the difference between 4- and 3-year-olds (Cohen's d = 0.80). Additionally, 4- and 5-year-old children selected category-match items at above chance (0.50) level, both one-sample ts ≥ 2.32, p < 0.05. However, the performance of 3-year-old children did not differ from chance, one-sample t(17) = 1.10, p = 0.29 (see Figure 2).


Inductive generalization with familiar categories: developmental changes in children's reliance on perceptual similarity and kind information.

Godwin KE, Fisher AV - Front Psychol (2015)

Summary of children's performance on the Property Induction Task and the Naming Task across age groups. Error bars represent the standard errors of the mean.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4493371&req=5

Figure 2: Summary of children's performance on the Property Induction Task and the Naming Task across age groups. Error bars represent the standard errors of the mean.
Mentions: A significant effect of age was found, F(2, 54) = 14.68, p < 0.0001, partial η2 = 0.35. Post-hoc Tukey tests indicated the following pattern of findings in children's proportion of category-match choices: 5-year-old children > 4-year-old children > 3-year-old children, all ps < 0.05. The effect size for the difference in induction performance between the 5-year-olds and the preschool children was large (5-year-olds vs. 4-year-olds Cohen's d = 1.0; 5-year-olds vs. 3-year-olds Cohen's d = 2.00), as was the effect size for the difference between 4- and 3-year-olds (Cohen's d = 0.80). Additionally, 4- and 5-year-old children selected category-match items at above chance (0.50) level, both one-sample ts ≥ 2.32, p < 0.05. However, the performance of 3-year-old children did not differ from chance, one-sample t(17) = 1.10, p = 0.29 (see Figure 2).

Bottom Line: The results were not fully consistent with either theoretical account.In contrast to the predictions of the naïve theory approach, the youngest children in the study did not ignore perceptually compelling lures in favor of category-match items; in contrast to the predictions of the similarity-based account, no group of participants favored perceptually compelling lures in the presence of dissimilar-looking category-match items.Consistent with the predictions of the similarity-based account, descriptor labels affected the performance of children in all age groups included in the study.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, PA, USA.

ABSTRACT
Inductive generalization is ubiquitous in human cognition; however, the factors underpinning this ability early in development remain contested. The present study was designed to (1) test the predictions of the naïve theory and a similarity-based account and (2) examine the mechanism by which labels promote induction. In Experiment 1, 3- to 5-year-old children made inferences about highly familiar categories. The results were not fully consistent with either theoretical account. In contrast to the predictions of the naïve theory approach, the youngest children in the study did not ignore perceptually compelling lures in favor of category-match items; in contrast to the predictions of the similarity-based account, no group of participants favored perceptually compelling lures in the presence of dissimilar-looking category-match items. In Experiment 2 we investigated the mechanisms by which labels promote induction by examining the influence of different label types, namely category labels (e.g., the target and category-match both labeled as bird) and descriptor labels (e.g., the target and the perceptual lure both labeled as brown) on induction performance. In contrast to the predictions of the naïve theory approach, descriptor labels but not category labels affected induction in 3-year-old children. Consistent with the predictions of the similarity-based account, descriptor labels affected the performance of children in all age groups included in the study. The implications of these findings for the developmental account of induction are discussed.

No MeSH data available.