Chapter

The Development of Representation and Concepts

Part I. Cognition, Biology, and Methods

  1. Ulrich Müller1,
  2. Timothy P. Racine2

Published Online: 20 SEP 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470880166.hlsd001011

The Handbook of Life-Span Development

The Handbook of Life-Span Development

How to Cite

Müller, U. and Racine, T. P. 2010. The Development of Representation and Concepts. The Handbook of Life-Span Development. I:11.

Author Information

  1. 1

    University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia

  2. 2

    Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 20 SEP 2010

Abstract

This chapter examines various theories of and empirical findings on representational and conceptual development. We review empirical research on different areas of representational development, including the emergence of symbolic representation in infancy, pretend play, symbolic gestures, and the development of the use and comprehension of external representations (models, pictures). We focus on selective topics of conceptual development in childhood and late adulthood. Specifically, we summarize research on conceptual development in infancy, thematic and taxonomic relations, category induction, and the hierarchic organization of the development of taxonomies and the hierarchic organization of concepts. We conclude by highlighting the important role of distancing, social interaction, and the processes of differentiation and integration in representational and conceptual development.

Keywords:

  • representation;
  • concepts;
  • drawing;
  • play;
  • gesture