An Apple is More Than Just a Fruit: Cross-Classification in Children's Concepts

Simone P. Nguyen, Gregory L. Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This research explored children's use of multiple forms of conceptual organization. Experiments 1 and 2 examined script (e.g., breakfast foods), taxonomic (e.g., fruits), and evaluative (e.g., junk foods) categories. The results showed that 4- and 7-year-olds categorized foods into all 3 categories, and 3-year-olds used both taxonomic and script categories. Experiment 3 found that 4- and 7-year-olds can cross-classify items, that is, classify a single food into both taxonomic and script categories. Experiments 4 and 5 showed that 7-year-olds and to some degree 4-year-olds can selectively use categories to make inductive inferences about foods. The results reveal that children do not rely solely on one form of categorization but are flexible in the types of categories they form and use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1783-1806
Number of pages24
JournalChild development
Volume74
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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