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Cognition. 2008 May;107(2):420-32. Epub 2007 Dec 19.

Biases towards internal features in infants' reasoning about objects.

Author information

  • 1Yale University, 2 Hillhouse Avenue, New Haven, CT 06520 USA. george.newman@yale.edu

Abstract

This paper reports the results of two sets of studies demonstrating 14-month-olds' tendency to associate an object's behavior with internal, rather than external features. In Experiment 1 infants were familiarized to two animated cats that each exhibited a different style of self-generated motion. Infants then saw a novel individual that had an internal feature (stomach color) similar to one cat, but an external feature (hat color) similar to the other. Infants looked reliably longer when the individual's motion was congruent with the hat than when it was congruent with the stomach. Using a converging method involving object choice, Experiment 2 found that infants prioritized the internal feature over the external feature only when the object's behavior was self-generated. In the absence of self-generated behaviors, however, infants did not show a preference towards the internal feature.

PMID:
18068151
PMCID:
PMC2398765
DOI:
10.1016/j.cognition.2007.10.006
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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