Chapter 7 - Chapter 7 Dividing Objects into Categories...

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Chapter 7 Dividing Objects into Categories Children attempt to understand what kinds of things there are in the world o They come to divide the things in the world into broad categories o Different types of concepts apply to different types of objectives Distinctions help children make accurate inferences about unfamiliar objects Category hierarchies: Categories related by set-subset relations Categorization of Objects in Infancy o Perceptual categorization: The grouping together of objects that have similar appearances o Infants categorize objects along many perceptual dimensions Categorization is largely based on specific parts of an object rather than on the objects as a whole o Increasingly categorize objects on the basis of the object’s overall shape o Infants form categories on the basis of objects’ functions o Infants can use their knowledge of categories to determine which actions go with which type of objects Categorization of Objects Beyond Infancy o Category hierarchies Superordinate level: The general level Subordinate level: The very specific level Basic level: The medium or in-between level Children usually learn this level first Has a number of consistent characteristics
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Early categories often correspond closely to the categories that adults consider basic “Child basic” categories: Categories whose generality is somewhere between basic and superordinate categories Key process in progress involves understanding the role of object characteristics that are perceptually subtle but that have important functions Parents and others use the child’s basic-level categories as a foundation for explaining the more specific and more general categories o Causal understanding and categorization Understanding causal relations is crucial in forming categories Knowledge of Other People and Oneself Naïve psychology: The knowledge of people that is obtained without formal instruction Desires, beliefs, and actions are used to understand human behavior Properties of naïve psychological concept o They refer to invisible mental states No one can see a desire, a belief, a perception, a physiological process, etc. The concepts are all linked to each other in cause-effect relations They develop early in life Infants’ Naïve Psychology o Infants find people interesting and appealing, pay careful attention to them, and learn an impressive amount about them o Early interest in other people helps infants learn about them Helps infants learn about their behavior Encourages the other people to interact more with the infants o Infants can use their own experience to understand other people o Many important aspects of psychological understanding emerge late in the first year and early in the second
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Understanding of intention The desire to a ct in a certain way Joint attention Two or more people focus intentionally on the same referent
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Chapter 7 - Chapter 7 Dividing Objects into Categories...

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