Author(s): Wilburn C, Feeney A
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Abstract In a recently published study, Sloutsky and Fisher [Sloutsky, V. M., & Fisher, A.V. (2004a). When development and learning decrease memory: Evidence against category-based induction in children. Psychological Science, 15, 553-558; Sloutsky, V. M., & Fisher, A. V. (2004b). Induction and categorization in young children: A similarity-based model. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 133, 166-188.] demonstrated that children have better memory for the items that they generalise to than do adults. On the basis of this finding, they claim that children and adults use different mechanisms for inductive generalisations; whereas adults focus on shared category membership, children project properties on the basis of perceptual similarity. Sloutsky & Fisher attribute children's enhanced recognition memory to the more detailed processing required by this similarity-based mechanism. In Experiment 1 we show that children look at the stimulus items for longer than adults. In Experiment 2 we demonstrate that although when given just 250ms to inspect the items children remain capable of making accurate inferences, their subsequent memory for those items decreases significantly. These findings suggest that there are no necessary conclusions to be drawn from Sloutsky & Fisher's results about developmental differences in generalisation strategy.
This article was published in Cognition
and referenced in Journal of Communication Disorders, Deaf Studies & Hearing Aids