When is Four Far More Than Three? Children’s Generalization of Newly-Acquired Number Words
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CitationHuang, Yi Ting, Elizabeth Spelke, and Jesse Snedeker. 2010. When is four far more than three? Children’s generalization of newly-acquired number words. Psychological Science 21(4): 600-606.
AbstractWhat is the relationship between children’s first number words and number concepts? We used training tasks to explore children’s interpretation of number words as they acquired their meanings. Children who had mastered the meanings of only the first two or three number words were systematically provided with varied input on the next word-to-quantity mapping, and their extension of the newly-trained word was assessed across a variety of test items. Children who had mastered number words to three generalized training on four to new objects and nouns, with approximate accuracy. In contrast, children who had mastered only one and two learned to apply three reliably within a single count noun context (three dogs) but not to new objects labeled with different nouns (three cows). Both findings suggest that children fail to map newly-learned words in their counting routine to fully abstract concepts of natural number.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:4264760
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