Naming the animals that come to mind: Effects of culture and experience on category fluency

Nathan Winkler-Rhoades, Douglas Medin, Sandra R. Waxman, Jennie Woodring*, Norbert O. Ross

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article considers the semantic structure of the animal category from a cross-cultural developmental perspective. Children and adults from three North American communities (urban majority culture, rural majority culture and rural Native American) were prompted to generate animal names, and the resulting lists were analyzed for their underlying dimensionality and for the typicality or salience of specific animal names. The semantic structure of the animal category appeared to be consistent across cultural groups, but the relative salience of animal kinds varied as a function of culture and first-hand experience with the natural world. These results provide evidence of a shared representation of animals across disparate cultures but also indicate a role for culture in shaping animal concepts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)205-220
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Cognition and Culture
Volume10
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2010

Keywords

  • CATEGORIZATION
  • CROSS-CULTURE
  • DEVELOPMENT
  • FOLKBIOLOGY
  • NAME GENERATION
  • NATIVE AMERICAN

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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