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Title:Developmental trends in similarity as structural alignment: Evidence from children's performance in mapping tasks
Author(s):Rattermann, Mary Jo
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):DeLoache, Judy S.
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Psychology, Developmental
Abstract:Young children find tasks in which object similarity is pitted against relational similarity difficult. However, there is a developmental improvement in the ability to use relational similarity. We investigated the effects of object similarity and relational similarity on children's performance in an analogical mapping task. Our experimental task was designed to be a challenging analogical mapping task in which a response based on either object similarity or relational similarity was possible, although only relational similarity was correct. In a series of experiments, 3-, 4-, and 5-year-old children were tested using this task. It was found that young children are affected by the salience of the object-similarity choices in this task; both 3- and 4-year-olds responded based on object similarity when the objects used were rich in object attributes and responded based on relational similarity when the objects used were sparse and simple. Five-year-olds, however, performed quite well with both stimulus types, thus showing a developmental improvement in this task. In a further set of experiments, the use of familiar labels ("Daddy," "Mommy," and "Baby") were used to increase children's ability to use relational similarity with both types of stimuli in the previous task. When these familiar labels were used, 3-year-old children's ability to use relational similarity in the presence of competing object similarity increased.
Issue Date:1991
Rights Information:Copyright 1991 Rattermann, Mary Jo
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9210959
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9210959

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