Category structure affects the developmental trajectory of children’s inductive inferences for both natural kinds and artefacts


Inductive reasoning is fundamental to human cognition, yet it remains unclear how we develop this ability and what might influence our inductive choices. We created novel categories in which crucial factors such as domain and category structure were manipulated orthogonally. We trained 403 4-9-year-old children to categorise well-matched natural kind and artefact stimuli with either featural or relational category structure, followed by induction tasks. This wide age range allowed for the first full exploration of the developmental trajectory of inductive reasoning in both domains. We found a gradual transition from perceptual to categorical induction with age. This pattern was stable across domains, but interestingly, children showed a category bias one year later for relational categories. We hypothesise that the ability to use category information in inductive reasoning develops gradually, but is delayed when children need to process and apply more complex category structures.

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Divisions: College of Health & Life Sciences > School of Psychology
College of Health & Life Sciences > Clinical and Systems Neuroscience
College of Health & Life Sciences
College of Health & Life Sciences > School of Optometry > Vision, Hearing and Language
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Thinking and reasoning on 2014, available online: Funding: ESRC.
Uncontrolled Keywords: categorisation,category structure,child development,domain,inductive reasoning,Psychology (miscellaneous),Experimental and Cognitive Psychology,Philosophy
Publication ISSN: 1464-0708
Last Modified: 05 Apr 2024 07:11
Date Deposited: 08 Oct 2014 14:10
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Related URLs: http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2015
Published Online Date: 2014-08-30
Authors: Badger, Julia R.
Shapiro, Laura R. (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-3276-457X)



Version: Accepted Version

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