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Children's Internal Organization of Locative Categories

Anne Erreich and Virginia Valian
Child Development
Vol. 50, No. 4 (Dec., 1979), pp. 1071-1077
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Society for Research in Child Development
DOI: 10.2307/1129333
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1129333
Page Count: 7
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Children's Internal Organization of Locative Categories
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Abstract

4 locative categories were investigated to determine whether their exemplars were organized according to the prototype/nonprototype distinction. A ranking task was presented to 30 adult subjects to see whether they would judge those instances which had been designated as prototypes by the experimenter to be the best exemplars of each category. An elicited-drawing task was administered to see whether there was a preference for drawing adult-designated prototypical instances. A matching task was presented to determine whether fewer errors would occur in response to adult-designated prototypical instances. The latter 2 tasks were presented to 4-year-olds, 6-year-olds, and adults, with 17 subjects in each group. The results provide strong evidence of prototype/nonprototype organization in 3 of the locative categories and weak evidence in the fourth. Tentative conclusions regarding the development of such organization are drawn.

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