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How special are objects? Children's reasoning about objects, parts, and holes.

Authors
  • Giralt, N
  • Bloom, P
Type
Published Article
Journal
Psychological science
Publication Date
Nov 01, 2000
Volume
11
Issue
6
Pages
497–501
Identifiers
PMID: 11202496
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Discrete physical objects have a special status in cognitive and linguistic development. Infants track and enumerate objects, young children are biased to construe novel words as referring to objects, and, when asked to count an array of items, preschool children tend to count the discrete objects, even if explicitly asked to do otherwise. We address here the question of whether discrete physical objects are the only entities that have this special status, or whether other individuals are salient as well. In two experiments, we found that 3-year-olds are just as good at identifying, tracking, and counting certain nonobject entities (holes in Experiment 1; holes and parts in Experiment 2) as they are with objects. These results are discussed in light of different theories of the nature and development of children's object bias.

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