How children learn non-obvious conceptual information from caregivers in naturalistic settings
- Elizabeth Attisano, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
- Stephanie Denison, Psychology , University of Waterloo , Waterloo , Ontario, Canada
- Shaylene Nancekivell, Psychology , University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, North Carolina, United States
AbstractA long-standing question in cognitive development asks how young children learn non-obvious conceptual information (i.e., information that is not directly perceptible). For artifacts, this non-obvious information includes the categories items fall into (Rhodes, Gelman & Karuza, 2014), and their functions (Matan & Carey, 2001). We investigated how children learn non-obvious information about novel artifacts from their caregivers during naturalistic interactions in a living history museum. Forty caregiver-child dyads (Ages: R=4;22-8;0,Mage=5.98 years) visited two exhibits for 8 minutes each (i.e., a heritage store and house). Using a series of GEEs and correlational analyses, we found caregivers used different pedagogical techniques to teach their children about different artifact properties. Namely, they used causal (rs=.49,p<.001) and procedural information (rs=.60,p<.001) to describe an artifact’s function, but used questions (rs=.79,p<.001) and comparisons (rs=.64,p<.001) to discuss an artifact’s identity. These patterns are compatible with the broader literature on how children learn non-obvious information best (Gelman, 2009).
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