This research was supported by NICHD Grant R03 HD055222-02. I am extremely grateful to Gregory Murphy and Cameron Gordon for discussions regarding this research as well as Tess Young, Lani Girgis, Jamie Chaffman, and Krista Cassidy for their dedicated research assistance. I also thank the schools and families who participated in this research.
Inductive Selectivity in Children’s Cross-Classified Concepts
Article first published online: 16 JUL 2012
© 2012 The Authors. Child Development © 2012 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.
Volume 83, Issue 5, pages 1748–1761, September/October 2012
How to Cite
Nguyen, S. P. (2012), Inductive Selectivity in Children’s Cross-Classified Concepts. Child Development, 83: 1748–1761. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2012.01812.x
- Issue published online: 11 SEP 2012
- Article first published online: 16 JUL 2012
Cross-classified items pose an interesting challenge to children’s induction as these items belong to many different categories, each of which may serve as a basis for a different type of inference. Inductive selectivity is the ability to appropriately make different types of inferences about a single cross-classifiable item based on its different category memberships. This research includes 5 experiments that examine the development of inductive selectivity in 3-, 4-, and 5-year-olds (n = 272). Overall, the results show that by age 4, children have inductive selectivity with taxonomic and script categories. That is, children use taxonomic categories to make biochemical inferences about an item whereas script categories to make situational inferences about an item.