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Is a Picture Worth a Thousand Words? Preference for Auditory Modality in Young Children

Vladimir M. Sloutsky and Amanda C. Napolitano
Child Development
Vol. 74, No. 3 (May - Jun., 2003), pp. 822-833
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Society for Research in Child Development
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3696231
Page Count: 12
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Is a Picture Worth a Thousand Words? Preference for Auditory Modality in Young Children
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Abstract

Linguistic labels play an important role in young children's conceptual organization: When 2 entities share a label, people expect these entities to share many other properties. Two classes of explanations of the importance of labels seem plausible: a language-specific and a general auditory explanation. The general auditory explanation argues that the importance of labels stems from a privileged processing status of auditory input (as compared with visual input) for young children. This hypothesis was tested and supported in 4 experiments. When auditory and visual stimuli were presented separately, 4-year-olds were likely to process both kinds of stimuli, whereas when auditory and visual stimuli were presented simultaneously, 4-year-olds were more likely to process auditory stimuli than visual stimuli.

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