Setters and samoyeds: the emergence of subordinate level categories as a basis for inductive inference in preschool-age children.

S. R. Waxman*, E. B. Lynch, K. L. Casey, L. Baer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations

Abstract

Basic level categories are a rich source of inductive inference for children and adults. These 3 experiments examine how preschool-age children partition their inductively rich basic level categories to form subordinate level categories and whether these have inductive potential. Children were taught a novel property about an individual member of a familiar basic level category (e.g., a collie). Then, children's extensions of that property to other objects from the same subordinate (e.g., other collies), basic (e.g., other dogs), and superordinate (e.g., other animals) level categories were examined. The results suggest (a) that contrastive information promotes the emergence of subordinate categories as a basis of inductive inference and (b) that newly established subordinate categories can retain their inductive potential in subsequent reasoning over a week's time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1074-1090
Number of pages17
JournalDevelopmental psychology
Volume33
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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