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Psykhe (Santiago)

versão On-line ISSN 0718-2228


SABINA TAVERNA, Andrea  e  PERALTA, Olga Alicia. Comparison and Inference in the Categorization of Non-Familiar Artifacts: A Study With Young Children. Psykhe [online]. 2012, vol.21, n.1, pp. 21-36. ISSN 0718-2228.

Prior research on category development has shown that cognitive processes such as comparison and inductive inference promote conceptual development, highlighting particular aspects of children's existing conceptual knowledge. This paper reports the study of children's comparison and inductive inference in the categorization of non-familiar objects. It used a forced-choice and word extension task with novel artifacts, manipulating their functional properties. Using an accidental sample, Study 1 assessed whether 2 to 5 years old children extended a novel word to a non-familiar artifact based of its function. It was found that only 5-year-olds succeeded. Study 2 tested the effects of comparison in the formation of categories in 48 4-year-olds and Study 3 the effects of inference in 24 4-year-old children. Only children who compared artifact-members under a common label went beyond the perceptual bias and formed new categories, but not the children who were invited to make property-based inference. Results are discussed concerning the extent of comparison and the restrictions of property-based inference in the categorization of objects with no pre-existing conceptual knowledge.

Palavras-chave : comparison; conceptual-based inference; non-familiar categories; artifacts.

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