The Development of Causal Categorization
Article first published online: 29 MAR 2012
Copyright © 2012 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.
Volume 36, Issue 6, pages 1102–1128, August 2012
How to Cite
Hayes, B. K. and Rehder, B. (2012), The Development of Causal Categorization. Cognitive Science, 36: 1102–1128. doi: 10.1111/j.1551-6709.2012.01244.x
- Issue published online: 27 JUL 2012
- Article first published online: 29 MAR 2012
- Received 12 May 2011; received in revised form 16 October 2011; accepted 17 October 2011
- Causal reasoning;
- Cognitive development
Two experiments examined the impact of causal relations between features on categorization in 5- to 6-year-old children and adults. Participants learned artificial categories containing instances with causally related features and noncausal features. They then selected the most likely category member from a series of novel test pairs. Classification patterns and logistic regression were used to diagnose the presence of independent effects of causal coherence, causal status, and relational centrality. Adult classification was driven primarily by coherence when causal links were deterministic (Experiment 1) but showed additional influences of causal status when links were probabilistic (Experiment 2). Children’s classification was based primarily on causal coherence in both cases. There was no effect of relational centrality in either age group. These results suggest that the generative model (Rehder, 2003a) provides a good account of causal categorization in children as well as adults.