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The Development of Inductive Inference and Categorization: Psychological essentialism in preschool children

  • THE KOREAN JOURNAL OF DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY
  • 2018, 31(1), pp.25-49
  • DOI : 10.35574/KJDP.2018.03.31.1.25
  • Publisher : The Korean Society For Developmental Psychology
  • Research Area : Social Science > Psychological Science
  • Received : December 23, 2017
  • Accepted : March 5, 2018

Hyekyung Park 1 Geunyoung Kim 1

1서강대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The goal of the present study was to investigate the effect of category label, properties and visual appearance on children’s reasoning during inductive inference and categorization. A property inference task and a categorization task were used to examine the effects of category label and properties. The results based on the data collected from 71 4-and 5-year-old children and 20 adults indicated that the participants’ reasoning was more category-based during the property inference task than during the categorization task. However, this tendency was not significant when the properties were highly familiar. Perceptual cues played a strong role in the categorization task when categorizing arbitrary categories compared to natural categories, but this was not the case during the property inference task. The results also showed that older participants tended to use conceptual information (category labels and properties) more than did younger participants, regardless of tasks and domains. These findings indicate that category labels have higher inductive potential compared to properties in human reasoning, and that even young children may consider conceptual information as main information that may override other factors, such as perceptual similarity.

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