Effects of Categorical Labels on Similarity Judgments: A Critical Evaluation of a Critical Analysis: Comment on Noles and Gelman

Date of Original Version



Response or Comment

Abstract or Description

Noles and Gelman (2012) attempt to critically reevaluate the claim that linguistic labels affect children's judgments of visual similarity. They report results of an experiment that used a modified version of Sloutsky and Fisher's (2004) task and conclude that “labels do not generally affect children's perceptual similarity judgments; rather, children's reliance on labels to make similarity judgments appears to be attributable to flaws in the methodological approaches used in prior studies” (p. 890). In this comment we demonstrate that these conclusions are based on inadequate analyses and reporting of statistics and are inconsistent with Noles and Gelman's own data. Instead, their data show a perfect replication of Sloutsky and Fisher (2004) and present further evidence that linguistic labels affect similarity judgment of young children.


Published In

Developmental Psychology, 48, 3, 897-900.