Developing knowledge of objects' motion properties in infancy.

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Abstract or Description

Three experiments with a novel variation of the inductive generalization procedure examined 18- and 22-month-olds' knowledge of objects' motion properties. Infants observed simple air and land movements modeled with an appropriate category member (e.g. dog) or an ambiguous block and were allowed to imitate with one or more of four exemplars. The experiments show that 18-month-olds' knowledge of land motions is grounded in causally relevant object parts, whereas 22-month-olds relate such motions more broadly to appropriate category members. Infants' basis for generalizing air motions suggested that at 22 months they have little knowledge about objects from that domain. The results are discussed in relation to the early development of the animate-inanimate distinction and the nature of the inductive generalization task.




Published In

Cognition, 96, 3, 183-214.