A developmental dissociation between category and function judgments about novel artifacts

Defeyter, Margaret Anne (Greta), German, Tim and Hearing, Jill (2009) A developmental dissociation between category and function judgments about novel artifacts. Cognition, 110 (2). pp. 260-264. ISSN 0010-0277

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2008.10.014


Two studies investigated the relative importance of information about intended design and current use on judgments about the function (Experiment 1) or category (Experiment 2) of novel artifacts in preschool children and adults. Adults assigned function and name on the basis of information about design across all conditions, while children’s decisions about function dissociated from decisions about category. Function judgments (in both 4 and 6-year-olds) were neutral between design and current use, both when the current use was idiosyncratic (e.g. performed by just one agent) and conventional (performed by many people; Experiment 1). By contrast, where category judgments were required for the very same objects (Experiment 2), children named according to design intentions – but only if the alternate function was idiosyncratic. Judging function and assigning category are thus cognitive tasks that draw on different information across development, a fact that should be captured by theories of developing artifact concept structure.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: design stance, categorization, cognitive development
Subjects: C800 Psychology
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Psychology
Depositing User: EPrint Services
Date Deposited: 06 May 2010 13:25
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2021 08:38
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/212

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