Date of Original Version

4-23-2009

Type

Thesis

Rights Management

All Rights Reserved

Abstract or Description

Previous studies have shown that preschoolers endorse abstract reasons as causally responsible for familiar biological events for animals (e.g., energy causes movement) but not for machines (Gottfried & Gelman, 2005). These biological phenomena are often explained by vitalistic explanations within a naïve theory of biology (Morris, Taplin, & Gelman, 2000). Understanding the distinction in the categorization of energy and motion of animates and inanimates is important in assessing the role of energy production and transfer. In this study, I examined whether infants categorize animates and inanimates by their differences in energy and motion. Infants at 11-13 and 15-17 months of age were habituated to a casual event between an agent and recipient ball, modeled after Michotte (1963).

Comments

Advisor: David Rakison
Degree: B.A. Psychology

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