Object names and object functions serve as cues to categories for infants.

Amy E. Booth*, Sandra Waxman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

156 Scopus citations


Can object names and functions act as cues to categories for infants? In Study 1, 14- and 18-month-old infants were shown novel category exemplars along with a function, a name, or no cues. Infants were then asked to "find another one," choosing between 2 novel objects (1 from the familiar category and the other not). Infants at both ages were more likely to select the category match in the function than in the no-cue condition. However, only at 18 months did naming the objects enhance categorization. Study 2 shows that names can facilitate categorization for 14-month-olds as well when a hint regarding the core meaning of the objects (the function of a single familiarization object) is provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)948-957
Number of pages10
JournalDevelopmental psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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