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Article: Developing An Intuitive Understanding of Substance Kinds

TitleDeveloping An Intuitive Understanding of Substance Kinds
Authors
Issue Date1994
PublisherAcademic Press. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.elsevier.com/locate/cogpsych
Citation
Cognitive Psychology, 1994, v. 27 n. 1, p. 71-111 How to Cite?
AbstractChildren observe many different behaviors of various substances in everyday life. An effective way to interpret and organize the information they receive in this way is to develop an intuitive theory of substance kinds. In the three studies reported here, by age 3 or 4, children from both middle class and lower-middle class backgrounds seemed to appreciate the homogeneous structure of substances. They seemed to believe that any arbitrary portion of a chunk/pile of a substance is the same kind of substance as the whole chunk/pile. They would generalize a substance-relevant property (e.g., taste, smell when it bums) across portions that shared either a common origin or a common substance label. By contrast, they would generalize an entity-relevant property (e.g., coarseness, can be blown away when it′s windy) across portions of similar grain size and portion size. Moreover, discussing the concept of "tiny, homogeneous pieces" with 4- and 5-year-olds promoted appropriate inductive inferences about substance-relevant properties across portions. Together, these findings suggest that children′s ideas about substances form a rather coherent belief system. While such a belief system may not qualify as a theory because it may lack an explicit causal mechanism, it nonetheless provides a coherent basis for children to reason about substance kinds. © 1994 Academic Press. All rights reserved.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/132016
ISSN
2015 Impact Factor: 4.537
2015 SCImago Journal Rankings: 3.356
ISI Accession Number ID

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorAu, TKen_HK
dc.date.accessioned2011-03-04T07:50:44Z-
dc.date.available2011-03-04T07:50:44Z-
dc.date.issued1994en_HK
dc.identifier.citationCognitive Psychology, 1994, v. 27 n. 1, p. 71-111en_HK
dc.identifier.issn0010-0285en_HK
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/132016-
dc.description.abstractChildren observe many different behaviors of various substances in everyday life. An effective way to interpret and organize the information they receive in this way is to develop an intuitive theory of substance kinds. In the three studies reported here, by age 3 or 4, children from both middle class and lower-middle class backgrounds seemed to appreciate the homogeneous structure of substances. They seemed to believe that any arbitrary portion of a chunk/pile of a substance is the same kind of substance as the whole chunk/pile. They would generalize a substance-relevant property (e.g., taste, smell when it bums) across portions that shared either a common origin or a common substance label. By contrast, they would generalize an entity-relevant property (e.g., coarseness, can be blown away when it′s windy) across portions of similar grain size and portion size. Moreover, discussing the concept of "tiny, homogeneous pieces" with 4- and 5-year-olds promoted appropriate inductive inferences about substance-relevant properties across portions. Together, these findings suggest that children′s ideas about substances form a rather coherent belief system. While such a belief system may not qualify as a theory because it may lack an explicit causal mechanism, it nonetheless provides a coherent basis for children to reason about substance kinds. © 1994 Academic Press. All rights reserved.en_HK
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherAcademic Press. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.elsevier.com/locate/cogpsychen_HK
dc.relation.ispartofCognitive Psychologyen_HK
dc.titleDeveloping An Intuitive Understanding of Substance Kindsen_HK
dc.typeArticleen_HK
dc.identifier.openurlhttp://library.hku.hk:4550/resserv?sid=HKU:IR&issn=0010-0285&volume=27&issue=1&spage=71&epage=111&date=1994&atitle=DEVELOPING+AN+INTUITIVE+UNDERSTANDING+OF+SUBSTANCE+KINDS-
dc.identifier.emailAu, TK:terryau@hkucc.hku.hken_HK
dc.identifier.authorityAu, TK=rp00580en_HK
dc.description.naturelink_to_subscribed_fulltext-
dc.identifier.doi10.1006/cogp.1994.1012en_HK
dc.identifier.scopuseid_2-s2.0-21844484704en_HK
dc.identifier.volume27en_HK
dc.identifier.issue1en_HK
dc.identifier.spage71en_HK
dc.identifier.epage111en_HK
dc.identifier.isiWOS:A1994PA21000003-
dc.publisher.placeUnited Statesen_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridAu, TK=9435174900en_HK

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