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The development of representational change from three to five years of age in two domains of knowledge Penner, David Edward 1989

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THE D E V E L O P M E N T OF R E P R E S E N T A T I O N A L C H A N G E F R O M T H R E E TO F I V E Y E A R S OF A G E IN TWO DOMAINS OF K N O W L E D G E by DAVID EDWARD  TENNER  B.Sc, Simon Fraser University, 1982  A  THESIS S U B M I T T E D I N P A R T I A L F U L F I L M E N T THE  REQUIREMENTS MASTER  FOR OF  THE DEGREE  OF  ARTS  in THE  FACULTY  OF  GRADUATE  STUDIES  Educational Psychology and Special Education  We  accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard  THE  UNIVERSITY  O F BRITISH  COLUMBIA  July 1989  ® David Edward Penner, 1989  OF  In  presenting  this  degree at the  thesis  in  partial fulfilment  of  University of  British Columbia,  I agree  freely available for reference copying  of  department publication  this or  and study.  thesis for scholarly by  his  or  her  the  requirements that the  I further agree  purposes  representatives.  may be It  that  of this thesis for financial gain shall not be  Library  an  advanced  shall make it  permission for extensive  granted  is  for  by the  understood  that  allowed without  head  of  my  copying  or  my written  permission.  Department  of  EDUCATIONAL  PSYCHOLOGY  The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada  Date  DE-6 (2/88)  J u l y 20, 1989  and SPECIAL  EDUCATION  ABSTRACT  This  study  representational  investigated  change  when  presented  stimuli. Fifteen three-year-old, shown  four  drawing  natural  of each  story, each  kind  was  child  the development  and  then  natural  21 four-year-old four  constructed  was  with  kind  understanding  and human  of  artifact  and 19 five-year-old children were  human  to suggest  of children's  artifact  picture  the object  shown the second  pairs.  The  initial  of interest. Following  drawing, which showed  a  the true  nature of the object. The picture pairs were then put away and the child asked what she had thought the first picture of the pair to be. Following of the representational change data, children were whether  or  not they  distinguished  between  interviewed  two  domains:  the collection  to gather data on natural  kinds  and  human artifacts.  Analysis  of the representational  effect for age. Post-hoc ages of three  change  analysis pointed  and four, three  for age. Post-hoc  domain question The  post-hoc  analysis  revealed  to a significant  significant  main  difference between the  significant effects were noted for domain  for domain  revealed  that  correctly more often for natural kinds  analysis  a  and five, but not four and five. No other results  were significant. On the domain question and  data  for age showed  significant  children  answered the  than for human  differences between  artifacts. three and  four, three and five, but not between four and five.  The results suggest that four and five-j'ear-olds perform significantly better than  three-year-olds  on  representational  ii  change  tasks,  regardless  of domain.  However, there  is evidence  that  artifacts  at least  four  and natural  and five-year-olds do have  knowledge  of human  little value  in the successful completion of the representational change tasks.  iii  kinds,  though  this  knowledge  some is of  TABLE  OF CONTENTS  Abstract  ii  Table of Contents  iv  List of Tables  v  List of Figures  vi  Acknowledgements Chapter  vii  1. M E T A R E P R E S E N T A T I O N A L D E V E L O P M E N T  IN E A R L Y  CHILDHOOD 1.1. Introduction 1.2. Theoretical Significance of the Study Chapter 2. L I T E R A T U R E R E V I E W 2.1. Representational Change 2.2. Natural Kinds and Human 2.3. Rationale for the Study  1 1 4 7 7 13 19  Artifacts  Chapter 3. M E T H O D O L O G Y 3.1. Design 3.2. Experimental Hypotheses 3.3. Subjects 3.4. Task Description 3.5. Task Pilot 3.6. Procedure  21 21 22 22 24 25 26  Chapter 4. R E S U L T S 4.1. Representational Change 4.2. Item Analysis 4.3. Knowledge of Natural Kinds  29 29 32 35  and Human  Artifacts  Chapter 5. DISCUSSION A N D C O N C L U S I O N S 5.1. Domain Effects 5.2. Educational Implications 5.3. Conclusions  40 41 46 48  References  50  Appendix  56  iv  LIST Table  OF  TABLES  1: Mean Raw Scores for Age and Domain on the Representational Change Question  30  Table 2: Mean Transformed Scores for Age and Domain on the Representational Change Question  31  Table 3: Age by Domain Repeated Measures A N O V A Representational Change Question  32  for the  Table 4: Proportion of Four and Five-Year-Olds Answering the Representational Change Question Correctly for Each Item  34  Table 5: Domain Appropriate Mean Scores by Age and Domain for the Domain Question  35  Table 6: Age by Domain Repeated Measures A N O V A  for the Domain  Question 37  Table 7: Justifications for Correct Answers to the Domain Question by Domain and Age  v  39  LIST Figure  OF  FIGURES  1: Mean Transformed Scores by Age and Domain on the Representational Change Question  Figure 2: Domain Appropriate Mean Scores by Age and Domain for the Domain Question  vi  33  36  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS My impression is that we mostly bumble and bungle around, thrashing about for some new idea or experiment to keep ourselves busy and out of mischief.  Gordon  I  would  like  to thank  my  Bower  committee,  Rita  Watson, Harold Ratzlaff and  Pat Arlin for their help and guidance in the completion of this thesis.  vii  CHAPTER  1.  METAREPRESENTATIONAL DEVELOPMENT  IN  EARLY  CHILDHOOD  1.1.  INTRODUCTION  Our understanding of the world is achieved more effectively by conceptual improvement than by the discovery of new facts even though the two are not mutually exclusive. (Mayr, 1982, p. 23.)  Watch familiar  with  responds  to  a  young  child  its features the  develops, both  ball's  mentally  uses  her  and  bouncing and  is possible to know how intuitively  plaj  r  with  a  qualities in a  ball.  her  play  seemingly  phj'sically, and  As  she  becomes  changes.  random  learns, she  At  increasingly  first  the  child  manner. As  the  child  comes to realize that it  the ball will behave in a given circumstance. The  growing  knowledge  of  the  world  representations of, say, what happens to the ball when  to  construct  it is thrown  child mental  against a  surface.  Mental the  world:  representations guide  "it is inferred  our  beliefs,  that mental  experiences,  and  states 'organize' scenes,  judgements  of  holding together  the disparate elements into which scenes otherwise threaten to dissolve" (Premack &  Woodruff,  1978,  p.  525).  Representations  are  the  contents  of mental  states,  contents which with development become open to explicit manipulation. This study is  premised  on  a  view  of mind  as  a  symbol  manipulation  system  in which  representations carry information of benefit to an individual (Pylyshyn, 1984).  Understanding  the  nature  of  the  1  formation  and  manipulation  of  METAREPRESENTATIONAL DEVELOPMENT representations  assists  individuals  in  IN E A R L Y C H I L D H O O D  effectively  functioning  within  / 2 their  environment. For example, when dealing with people it is often useful to try and think through  a situation from  their point of view. Considering another's point of  view requires a representation of what the other is possibly thinking, that is a metarepresentation. structures,  allowing explicit  metarepresentation is  Metarepresentations  readily  may then be used  apparent  subjective nature  intervention  that  young  are  a  means  of  into  the process  refining  knowledge  of interpretation.  This  in planning a course of action. However, it  children  of representations. Rather,  do  not completely  understand  there is a developmental  the  progression  leading to an adult-like comprehension of the nature of representations (Bretherton &  Beeghly,  1982; Bretherton, McNew, &  Beeghly-Smith,  1981; Chandler,  1988).  Children gradually come to reflect upon their own mental representations, to form metarepresentations.  Ongoing investigations on metarepresentational development have noted that qualitative  changes  largely  occur  between  the ages  of three  and five.  three-3'ear-olds demonstrate little recourse to overt manipulation  of their  by  reflect  the  age  representations Wimmer, you  of  five  most  (Astington &  1987; Wellman,  know  it's a  three-year-olds  tend  children  Gopnik,  are  able  to  1988; Chandler,  easily  to answer  an  on  to the question  referring  to  positively,  whereas five-year-olds tend  ambiguous  their lack of knowledge about the object pictured  (Olson &  Similarly, when three to five-year-olds were asked  "Can X  his/her eyes?", after being told that X  thoughts, their  1988; Perner, Leekham,  1988). For example, in response  (name)?",  Though  stimulus  &  "Do  display, to admit  Astington, in press).  see (object name) with  was only thinking about the named object,  METAREPRESENTATIONAL the three-year-olds  D E V E L O P M E N T IN  EARLY  CHILDHOOD / 3  said yes while the five-year-olds replied negatively (Wellman  &  Estes, 1986).  Research  has  metarepresentational  focussed abilities: an  on  three  aspects  understanding  of  the  development  of representational change, that is,  understanding  that your representations are open to change (Astington &  1988;  &  an  Gopnik  Astington,  individual has  false  had  belief (Olson  Wimmer  &  Perner,  individual's (Flavell,  ability  Green,  &  &  1988); ascription  access  1983); and to  answer  Flavell.  metarepresentational  of false belief, the  to incorrect information  Astington,  in press; the  1986).  development,  Perner,  about  While  and  developmental  progression  metacognitive may  areas. This  between  the  ages  Astington  addition to  their  and  (1988) have noted  Gopnik  change  experiments  Gopnik  did not  do  Wimmer,  appearance  areas  a  1987;  considers  and  nature  are  concerned  with  have  suggested  that  to clarif}' explanations three  that  and  five  for  for the  all three  suggests that a further look at representational change  provide general insights into all three  In  of  realization  therefore must hold  Gopnik  investigations of representational change will serve  Gopnik,  distinction, which  object  all three  Astington  and  Leekham, &  appearance-reality  questions  of  not  specificalfy  view  on  processes.  the  all produce  importance that the the  investigate this  same  of representational change,  tasks  used  results.  in representational  While  result, it does  suggest  Astington  and  that children  find some representational tasks easier to complete than others. However, to date little has  been done to probe links between children's world  performance  on  representational change tasks. This  study  knowledge and  their  proposes to investigate  METAREPRESENTATION AL  D E V E L O P M E N T IN  EARLY  CHILDHOOD / 4  the development of three, four and five-year-olds' understanding of representational change in two  1.2.  domains of knowledge.  THEORETICAL  Studies differentially  SIGNIFICANCE  of  representational  affect the  appear to understand for human  cat  appear  task,  than candy as  change  representational  change  example it was  black  was  answered  children discovered they had  1988). However, no  STUDY  have  study has  that  various  change. Three  for natural  stimuli  to five-year-olds  kinds  more often  that the  than  'cat' task in  a pink transparency, which made the  correctly  that  expected, by  noted  noted in passing  a green cat covered by  to be  in which  THE  degree of representational  artifacts. For  which children saw  OF  a  more often  Smarties box  than  the  contained  'Smarties'  pencils  three to five-year-olds (Gopnik &  explicitly considered  how  rather  Astington,  a child's knowledge in a  particular domain influences his understanding of representational change.  Research indicates that young children often demonstrate a in  their  observations  Nelson,  1984;  children  do  not  (Keil,  Spiker  Kemler,  Cantor,  approach  particular children tend their  &  1986;  1983;  Smith, 1979;  1983). However, other  all objects  to approach  in  the  human  function; while natural kinds, such  same  artifacts, such  as  animals, are  their internal structure or essence (Gelman, 1987. is  not  to  say  that  a  structure or function, but  child  has  that he  complete categorizes  1988;  as  &  point  (Gelman,  bias  Kemler out  that  1988). In  cars, in terms of  considered  in terms of  Keil, 1986,  1987). This  comprehension based • on  Smith  studies  manner  perceptual  of  his naive  either  internal  theories about  M E T A R E P R E S E N T A T I O N A L D E V E L O P M E N T IN such distinctions (Carey, 1982,  EARLY  CHILDHOOD / 5  1985).  Sugarman (1983), Carey  (1985) and  Wellman (1988) have pointed out that  children act as theory finders; when they face an unknown environment they try to impose  some form  indifferent  manner:  available  of order. But they  actively  knowledge to test  characteristics  of  a  children process  do  not approach  information  concept;  development  and  learning  number during  developmental  and  help  refine  thoughts,  is one  that children  tasks. A  as  and  young  as  three  using a  few  it (Siegler,  of the  3'ears of age  incorporate considerable conceptual  child's  knowledge  of relationships  tools  emploj'  a  knowledge  between  events  objects in the world needs to be considered if research is to progress beyond  investigations considered in isolation. In particular, the qualities natural kinds from young children  human  have  an  artifacts are part of a child's world  implicit, albeit naive, grasp  regarding change that natural kinds engender (Carey, 1986,  world,  changes.  of cognitive strategies experimental  the  methods for checking the consistency of  one's theories. Metacognition, thinking about your  It is apparent  about  tasks in an  their conceptual theories. Children first grasp  1986). Development brings into play new  arising through  such  1987): children  understand,  at a  simple  which  knowledge. Even  of some of the 1985;  distinguish  restrictions  Gelman, 1988;  Keil,  intuitive' level, that dogs do  not  change into cats.  Studies on the development of an reflect varying tacks to comprehend  a  understanding  of representational change  child's endeavours  at ordering her  world.  METAREPRESENTATIONAL For  DEVELOPMENT  example, two approaches have been articulated  differences between three  Wimmer,  Hogrefe,  &  metarepresentational representations external processing  Sodian, abilities  are formed  world.  The  second  view, involves the gradual  Regardless approaches,  experimental (Astington  &  the developmental  This  arises  as  approach  view a  with  and the mind holds  child  information  considers  that  begins  development to  provided  that  lacks  (Wellman, 1988;  realize  taken  of that  from the  three-year-olds  have  a  Gopnik, 1988; Perner, 1988). Development, on this  incorporation of mechanisms accounting  of the merit  trying  situations. Gopnik,  of the understanding  of either  of children's  That  the process  performance  to understand  on  the knowledge  is, performance  1988) suggests that  when considering natural kinds  for the rise of  on  younger  or  information  access  representational  change  structures  use in  representational children may  they change  tasks  perform  better  than human artifacts. If so, does the development  of representational  Specifically, do the distinctions evident natural kinds  to explain  / 6  abilities.  investigation  necessitates  1988).  in concert  deficit (Forguson &  metarepresentational  CHILDHOOD  and five-year-olds. One is that the three-year-old  knowledge of the relationship between the world  tasks  IN E A R L Y  change  vary  between  in children's organization  the two domains. of knowledge in  and human artifact domains have an effect upon the emergence of  the understanding of representational change?  C H A P T E R 2. L I T E R A T U R E  This development  review  will  in young  focus  on  a  REVIEW  fundamental  children: the understanding  component  of  metacognitive  of representational change and  its relation to developing conceptual theories. Closely linked with  the development  of  verbs.  representational change  overview  is the acquisition  of metacognitive  A  brief  of the development of this aspect of language will provide a foundation  for investigating metarepresentational development.  2.1. REPRESENTATIONAL  In  essence,  CHANGE  understanding  representational  realization that what, was at time one, thought to  be  Y  (Astington  representational alternative  change  &  Gopnik,  1988;  thus  depends  upon  representations, of which  current state of affairs. A in  working  thought  X  memory  thinks  and realize  one is a  the  is, at time two, known  Flavell, the  upon  1988).  mental valid  Understanding  comparison  of two  representation of the  that they  did not know  at time  of representational change  one, but only is related to  of mental state verbs. Distinguishing between what one knows  is essential  representations  to be X  depends  must be able to hold the two representations  to be true. Thus, the study  the comprehension or  person  only  change  for considering  the  difference  between  and constructing the appropriate metarepresentation  situation. For the - proposed particular importance.  study  the use of the metacognitive  Successful completion  child's comprehension of this verb.  7  two  separate  for the task  verb  think is of  of the tasks, in part, depend upon a  LITERATURE Three-year-olds' use knowledge Johnson  &  of  mental  Maratsos,  children quite often do situations. In true,  younger  children admit  of metacognitive verbs reflects, at best, a  states  (Abbeduto  1977;  Olson  &  &  where  tend  to  Rosenburg,  1985;  Astington, 1986;  not demonstrate  circumstances children  appropriate verb use  they  answer  that  they  know  there is disparate use  appropriately with any  Wellman, 1980;  of  Shatz, Wellman, &  metarepresentational  appearance-reality The  three  Astington  of think and  distinction investigate  (1988),  stated  has  lead  development:  and,  themes  relation  change is clearly  the  The a  true; older  know between the ages of verbs are the first to be  an  ascription  but  closely  the  shown in work by four through  of  Wimmer  the  character that  Johnson  belief,  the  representational change.  of  false and  of  issues:  Gopnik  and  representational change  appearance-reality tasks.  belief  Perner  nine-year-olds with  hidden, with or without the knowledge of one  belief to  1982;  false  related,  understanding  ascription  of  and representational  (1983). Using situations  lacked knowledge  a story  in which  an  of the story characters.  results indicated that the j^oungest children were unable false  be  be  to investigations in three related  understanding  different,  that  between  setting, thej' presented object was  it to  to  Silber, 1983).  underlies success on both ascription of false belief and  The  during experimental  regularity by young children (Johnson,  Interest in metacognitive verbs areas  1982;  1988): young  could, at most, think something  three and five, it is of interest to note that these two  &  rudimentary  Bowerman,  Wellman,  / 6  to lacking knowledge in ambiguous situations (Olson and Astington,  in press). While  used  REVIEW  about  to correctly ascribe the  hidden object;  LITERATURE REVIEW that is, they could  not represent  object  no longer  knew  where the hidden  was  the youngest  object  world  wrong and  propositions  beliefs  children  stated  they  were  the results, Wimmer  requires  the explicit  as choosing a location where the  was, even when  not the case. In discussing  "representing the  was. Rather,  the character  the construction  representation  that  upon  and Perner  the discrepancy  to another  extension  told  stated  between  of the  representations,  individual suggests  The that  this that  of two different models of falseness  relation  between  in one model and the corresponding propositions in the other  the resulting metarepresentation.  beliefs  the character  specifically  (p. 124). Their argument is premised on a child's ability to form recognize  / 9  and  extra  make  step  model"  representations,  judgements  of then  based  assigning the  the ascription of false  belief is an  of understanding representational change.  Perner,  Leekham  and  Wimmer  (1987)  examined  three-year-olds'  understanding of their own false belief, rather than the ascription of false belief. Similar  work  Gopnik  &  with  a  manner  has also been  Astington,  closed by  1988). In all three  Smarties  which  carried out by others  candy  children  studies  box; however,  were  led to form  (Astington  a child  was  &  initially  the experiments a  Gopnik, 1988;  representation  presented  differed in the of what  they  thought, was inside the box. The experimenter then opened the box to reveal the contents  as pencils. The box was  closed  and put out of sight. The child  was  then asked what he first thought was in the box; then what he knows to be in the  box. To answer correctly the child  thought, and what he now task  was  taken  must choose between  knows, to be true. Successful  as demonstrating  an  understanding  what  he originally  completion on such a  of representational  change.  R E V I E W / IG  LITERATURE Perner et al. interpreted the results to indicate that while three can represent appropriate necessary  alternative models (cf. Wimmer  slightly  different  different  results  than  and Gopnik (1988) and Gopnik and Astington procedure  those  children at the start  Smarties box, Astington box,  though  shown  1983) and assign as is  when ascribing false belief to someone else.  a  asked  Perner,  truth values, thes' cannot assign conflicting truth values, such  In contrast Astington using  &  children younger than  many  than  described  Perner  above.  et al. (1987), have  Where  of the experiment  Perner  what  they  the box. The children were then  "Smarties!"  given  produced  et al. specifically  thought  was  and Gopnik did not ask the children anything  of the children stated  (1988),  spontaneously  the box and allowed  in the  about the when  first  to discover  the pencils inside. A t this point the box was reclosed, put out of sight, and the child asked "Now did  you think  . . . when you first saw the box, before  was inside it?" Data  analysis revealed  the representational change questions. A they  originally  thought  voluntarj' exclamations  the box contained of "Smarties!".  representation. Astington that  three-year-olds which  findings  supported  are  experimental  stands  procedure  materials (Astington &  opened it, what  significant  age effects for  of three-year-olds  pencils, in direct  Five-year-olds reported  reported  opposition  that  to their  their initial incorrect  and Gopnik's results can be interpreted as demonstrating  are unable  appropriately,  majority  we  by  to represent,  in opposition work  to include  and  to Perner  utilizing open-ended  evaluate  alternative  models  et al.'s conclusions.  modifications questions  Gopnik; Flavell, 1988; Gopnik &  to  and  a  Perner variety  Astington).  These  et al.'s of task  LITERATURE  It open  is apparent  that  the study  questions. For example,  explanations  of representational change  the present, interest  of representational change. Perner  in knowledge  (1988),  views  R E V I E W  still  n  has some  versus  the  /  process  developmental  process as being marked by children coming to represent the process of modelling their  representational changes. That  only  have  representations,  but  is, children  that  they  come  can  to realize  explicitly  that  they not  manipulate  them.  Knowledge of how to control representations is, for Perner, the deciding factor in determining does  not  if a child argue  has an understanding  that  young  children,  of representational change. Perner  such  as  two-year-olds,  cannot  form  representations, including the incorporation of hypothetical conditions; nor that they cannot  compare such models to their model of the world. However, in his view,  a child has not reached full understanding of representational change until he can represent the process by is  a child  which  able to understand  such that  models are constructed. Only phenomena, such  at this stage  as disagreements  between  people, are often due to individuals having different models of the world.  A  second  approach  considers  that  coming to acquire a new  understanding  world  &  (Wimmer,  Hogrefe,  Perner,  development  individual  1988; Wimmer, Hogrefe,  mature many  they ways.  perceives, communicates come Young  to realize children  that  and  people  functionally  communicate, and infer, but only around and  understand  such  by  a  child  of the sources of information about the  Between the ages of three and six an understanding an  is marked  processes as vanning  infers attend  &  Sodian,  1988).  of the processes by which develops.  to sources  demonstrate  their  age six do they  Thus  as  children  of information in ability  to perceive,  begin to reflect upon  between people and open to subjective  LITERATURE manipulation. between the  That  is, older children are able to understand  the world  validity  and the mind, and to use this  of  their  representations  REVIEW  the causal relation  understanding  and  in  / 12  when judging  forming  appropriate  metarepresentations.  The change  two  bear  unanswered  out that question  performance. performance  approaches  to explaining  there  is need  is the effect  Gopnik  &  for further  (1988) noted  the task  of representational  research  of children's prior  Astington  depending upon  the development  that  in this  knowledge there  area.  One  on their  task  were  differences in  materials used. The proportion  of children  answering correctly from ages three to five was 0.69, 0.62, 0.52, 0.49 and 0.39 for  the "book", "cat", "rock", "smarties"  be  noted  that  restricted highest  the "book"  task  consisted  views of %'arious animals proportion  domain,  while  individuals  have  recognizes  the  differentiate  of correctly  the  last  two  varying  levels  identifying  between  scoring can  of a  children  be  fall  considered  of knowledge  of pictures  the three tasks within  human  in certain  of subatomic  and trucks. Both  respectively. It should  booklet  and flowers. Thus  characteristics  cars  and "doll" tasks  offering with the  the natural artifact areas.  tasks. A l l A  particles;  a  children and physicists  kind  physicist child  bring  can their  knowledge to bear in assessing and acting upon their representations.  The  range  of correct responses  (1988) tasks suggests  task  materials  the various  Gopnik  and Astington  that previous representational change studies have failed to  consider all possible sources the  across  used  of variance. In particular, a child's knowledge about  in the experiment, needs to be considered.  Of specific  LITERATURE REVIEW interest  for this  kinds and  2.2.  study  is the  manner  children's knowledge of natural  human artifacts affects their understanding of representational change.  NATURAL  KINDS AND  Wittgenstein  situations  promote  comparing  the  nature  reality:  of  HUMAN  interest, and  reflection  new  with they  on  the are  categorical  (Garner,  1978;  However,  much has  knowledge  of  theorists  not  Nelson,  this  upon  their  us  to make  to previous  come to draw  (Carey,  has  1985;  provoked  1984;  By  conclusions about  the  Sugarman,  along  investigated  performance  on  with the  1981;  Rosch  experimental  of  1983).  &  Theory  development of  interest  investigations effect  New  experiences.  considerable  Kossan,  investigations;  attention" (570, p.l51e).  classification of the world. The  research,  explicit^  direct our  old, children  hierarchies  Kemler  lead  possible similarities  building, in turn, leads to ongoing children's  ARTIFACTS  (1958) stated that "concepts  are the expression of our  change,  in which  / 13  and  study  Mervis,  1975).  of representational  children's extant  tasks  (Murphy  world  &  Medin,  is a  means  1985).  Development for  extending  world any  and  requires the differences,  representations would  benefit  of an  by  of representational change  organizing one's knowledge ability to compare  and do  understanding  decide not  exist  which in  considering the  of the  previous with  is a  more  isolation. manner  world. Learning  the  current representations, note  accurate  depiction  Investigations of in which  about  of reality.  cognitive  previous  including domain organization, precipitates the development of new  world  But  processes knowledge,  processes.  Two  LITERATURE REVIEW domains  that  philosophy &  have  are  provoked  natural  Markman, 1986,  much  kinds  1987;  and  thought  human  Keil, 1986,  and  debate  in both  psychology  artifacts (Gelman, 1987,  1987;  Kripke,  1980;  / 14  1988;  and  Gelman  Putnam, 1975;  Quine,  1969).  Natural  kinds  Keil (1986, 1987) approaches  and  has  what  human artifacts differ in a number of substantial ways.  stated that natural kind  traditionally  sufficient conditions. Instead, definitions; that form  a  kind,  and  members  further  emphasized  essence  to  considered  to  falsification  at  stereotypes  are  later be  by  that  an  their  object may  a out  kind  any  to time  not  by  term;  the  if new  Schwartz, two  and  the  user  (p.  "gold". evidence  174).  or  that  what  has  yellow  kind  out  Ostensible  is presently  are  set of  things  thought  to  1979). Carey  realizes  be  is brought  a  since  that  or  ostensible  be  (1985)  components: there  Thus,  it may  that  is, necessary  marked out by  term  essence  homogenous: what  is a  the  kind  the  underlying  white, but  it is still  definitions forth  to  considered  are show  to  be  open that gold  to the may  something else, such as fool's gold.  artifacts rather  differ than  from their  natural inner  defined as a stool in one  What to call an  1975;  by  be  definitions, that  pointing  kind  may  not have anything  individuals believe  natural the  as  seemed to be  (Putnam,  underlying  belong  function be  that  same, gold  shown to be  Human  natural kinds  stereotypes  picked  has  is the  name  or  in nature  referred  regarded  is, definitions in which  typical  kind  are  terms do  kinds  in that  structure  or  they  essence  are  distinguished  (Keil,  1986):  an  context, or as a small table in another.  artifact is a matter of both situational convention  and  personal  LITERATURE intention.  Children's  understanding  of  the  difference between  R E V I E W / 15  natural  kinds  and  artifacts reflects their knowledge of the context-dependent, conventional, nature artifacts and  For  the unchanging inner essence of natural kinds.  young children knowledge of the difference between natural kinds  human artifacts is largely implicit. A just beginning  1988)  inductions  1982, and  1985;  the  Gelman, 1987;  Gelman  children form  investigated  basis  and  about for  of  sources  perceptual  pops  or  "See fish,  results source has  on  category  a dolphin. The  the dolphin, "dolphin". They  above  the  this or  water  fish  does  by  above age  of information about an  shown  that  even by  age  children  draw  "categories  three" (Gelman, on  their  1987)  has  stimuli.  the the  four  at  they  question  they  The  membership  when  example, a child was tropical fish and  a  1987,  knowledge  the  particular,  the  the two  shown pictures  shark were labeled  were then told some characteristics, such  Following shark)? water  the Does  pictures the it breathe  to breathe,  children consider  a  like  children were  underwater, like  this  category  dolphin?" label  a  object than its outer appearance. Further  are  Gelman  looked  In  and  but, though the dolphin lives in the water,  breathe.  (pointing to  it pop  indicated that  to  1987). Work by  whether children would infer properties on  characteristics  and  have noted that children  categorical distinctions.  as fish stay under water to breathe,  this  different  of information were in conflict. For  "fish" and  asked  (1986,  categorically  children's  of tropical fish, a shark and  it  Keil, 1986,  Markman  were interested in answering was basis  number of authors  to talk already are able to distinguish between animals, plants  artifacts (Carey, (1987,  of  powerful  source  of information  p. 4). Thus in the of  The  better  research  for children,  case of induction young  differences between  categories  to  answer  LITERATURE  REVIEW  / 16  questions.  While  previous  work  has  considered  how  children  form  inductions  about  various  natural kinds, there has been little done on whether children differentiate  objects  into  Gelman asked and  "Do  you  think  artifacts. The natural  natural  correctly  three,  four  kinds  (Carey,  study  in which  four  make X's?", where the claim  artifacts. The  often  (23%). than  that As  1985), there  viewed in the context  and  do  included  both  natural  were kinds  that children at both  make  artifacts  expected,  (84%) than  the two  that  seven-year-olds  However,  they  responded  the results indicated  object domains. Thus, while  complete scientific  differentiate between  that  however,  analysis showed  abilities in this area  stated  study,  seven-year-olds  awareness  is evidence to support the claim  least, they  (1985) has  lack  recent  children do distinguish  be  also distinguish between  a  young  people may  X  that  did the four year-olds.  artifacts. The three-year-old's  natural  of natural  that, for four kinds  and  and  human  require further investigation.  "ontologically important  concepts  must  be  of the theories in which they are embedded" (p. 13). That  is, childrens' knowledge Consideration  In  and five-year-olds may  five-year-olds at  Carey  domains.  small  and  more  often  that four-year-olds  a  artifact  results support  kinds  more  and  people  kinds  levels stated  make  kind  (1988) included  between age  natural  of the world  is linked to the naive  of children as theorists (Carej'; Murphy  1983) sets a framework for studying to understand the world.  &  theories they  Medin, 1985;  hold.  Sugarman,  the processes by which young children come  LITERATURE REVIEW Carey both  developing  concepts  between  relations  natural  new  relations  themselves.  associations and  (1985) feels that childhood is a time  kinds  concept  under  similarities. A  Such  are mentally  and possibly child  and the manner  children  is also  expect  affected  categories  in modifying  to be  represented. Moreover, Gelman's  that restructuring  may  of conceptual restructuring, in  requires a  in the world  investigation: child  concepts,  restructuring  concepts  suggests  among  / 17  core  aware  both of  in which  concepts  (1987) research on  by the nature to  of the  share  underlying  not be able to articulate the inner essence  of a kind,  but he does expect it to exist and be consistent within members of the kind.  Progression entails  towards  is analogous  a fuller  understanding  of what  to the historical delineation  young children develop  their understanding  of natural kind  kind  stereotypes. As  for pointing out the kind.  example, fool's gold is no longer included as a stereotypical member "gold" by older children  term  of what differentiates kinds, they come  to reconsider the inclusion of members which are used For  a natural kind  or adults. Development reflects an ongoing  of the process  in which theories and prior knowledge serve as a foundation for the more refined theories of adulthood  Previous Gopnik Hogrefe,  & &  presented reasonable  (Carey, 1985; Gelman, 1987; Keil, 1987: Sugarman, 1983).  research  Astington, Sodian,  on representational change 1988;  Perner,  Leekham,  &  (Astington & Wimmer,  Gopnik, 1988; 1987;  Wimmer,  1988) has not expressly considered the nature of the stimuli  to a child.  For example,  to hypothesize  in the case  that children  assume  of the "Smarties"  that the box contains  task  it  is  Smarties,  but it is also a conceivable hypothesis that it contains pencils. Three-year-olds, as  LITERATURE REVIEW well  as  older  children,  have  experienced  original contents. In such cases the contents  childrens' world  that  no  knowledge  longer  contain  is used  their  to determine  of a box. If there is no extra information present deciding what a  box contains should Smarties.  boxes  / 18  start with  what is normally  found  in the box, in this  However, once it is known that the box actually  case  contains pencils the  representation is shifted to illustrate that fact.  Gopnik & remembering being  no  ignores  Astington (1988) have suggested  their  original  immediate  representation of "Smarties"  benefit in remembering  the benefits inherent in being  Immediate novel  benefits need  situations  representation.  able  to be balanced  depends  Piaget's  that three-year-olds' difficulty in  to  some  (1973) object  tracking  a moving  object passing  emerge,  highlights that even  a  false  to recall  against degree  infants are aware  But this  argument  an incorrect representation.  upon  possibilities. holding  experiments,  a screen  condition created when the ball passes behind  belief.  future  permanence  behind  is possibly due to there  look  ahead  of more than  Success in  an  appropriate  in which infants to where  it will  the instantaneous  the screen; there can be a benefit  in ignoring the immediate situation.  Gopnik  &  Astington's  (1988)  explanation  also  expectations about natural kinds differ significantly from Gelman richly  those  to  consider  organized  world  knowledge.  into  a  dog, but boxes  By  second  grade,  natural  structure for children" can contain  many  kind  (p. 8). A  different  that  about artifacts. As  (1987) stated, "categories differ tremendously as to whether they  categories have distinctly different change  fails  and  tie into artifact  cat does not  things;  it is not  LITERATURE inconceivable study  that  three-year-olds  is concerned  distinctions  children  demonstrated  (Gelman, change  with  1988). must  by  how  aware  of such  younger than  older  Investigations  consider  are  children  of  their  those  are  children's domain  facts.  REVIEW  While  the  in grade two,  present  from  understanding  proposed  the  an  / 19  domain  early  age  of representational  structures, and  accompanying  naive  theories, affect performance oh the tasks presented.  2.3.  RATIONALE  Previous shift  between  FOR  STUDY  studies of representational change the to  ages  limited  ability  greater  understanding.  suggests.  THE  of  three  understand  and  While  evinced  However, the  developmental  three-year-olds  situation  is not  as  have not considered  knowledge that even three-year-olds possess  they face. There is evidence  a  demonstrate  representational change, five-year-olds show  Specifically, studies to date  of the world  five.  have  to suggest  clear  as  this  the nature and  1988;  in responding  Carey, 1985;  to  Gelman  the  1987). In particular, Gopnik and specifically address understanding  1988;  and  extent tasks  that children do not consider all tasks in  questions  1987,  synopsis  bring to the  the same waj', but make reference to their knowledge of the nature materials  much  they  are  Gopnik &  asked  (Astington  Astington, 1988;  of the task &  Gopnik,  Keil,  1986,  Astington's results suggest, though they did not  the issue, that, for three through five-year-olds, the degree of  of representational change  may  vary  depending  upon  whether  the  stimulus is a natural kind or a human artifact.  Keil  (1987) stated that  "concepts  do  not  develop  in isolation  but  rather  LITERATURE develop  in  a  relational  Children  are not passive  function as theory  system  natural  of  and  Rather  (p. 177).  children, as adults,  human  know. It is important to consider children's current  the  representational  kind  interdependences"  / 20  builders (Carey, 1985), integrating their new knowledge of the  knowledge  investigating  important  recipients of information.  world with what they already theoretical  with  REVIEW  world,  change. artifact  including  Children's  groupings,  domain  division albeit  distinctions,  of the world  with  limited  and  when  includes possibly  erroneous criteria for domain membership (Carey; Gelman, 1987, 1988; Gelman  &  Markman, 1986, 1987; Keil, 1986, 1987). It is hypothesized that three, four and five-year-olds refer to their knowledge of natural kind when forming metarepresentations; and that their naive and  human  artifacts  change. This  are linked  to their  ability  and human  artifact terms  theories of natural  to understand  kinds  representational  study proposes to investigate the manner in which children respond  to natural kind and human artifact stimuli during representational change tasks.  The  following research  questions  will be addressed within the body of this  study: 1.  Is there  a  developmental  trend  between  the ages  of three  and five on  representational change tasks? 2.  Is there  a difference on performance  natural kinds 3.  Are there kinds  4.  on representational  change  tasks for  and human artifacts?  age group differences on representational change tasks for natural  and human artifacts?  Is there  support  natural kinds  for the argument  and human  artifacts?  that  subjects  group  the world  into  C H A P T E R 3. METHODOLOGY  3.1.  DESIGN  The factorial  design  design,  for the present with  repeated  study  was  measures  a 3 x 2 (AGE x DOMAIN)  on the domain  factor. To  fixed  control for  possible order and practice effects, stimuli were combined using a latin square to form  eight different presentation orders, each consisting of four natural kind and  four  human  the  presentation  similar  to that  evaluate human of  artifact  drawings. Subjects  orders. used  by Gopnik  the premise artifact  Following  that  (1988). Participation  then  presentation  and Astington  children  domains, subjects  the origins of various  were  do  were  objects,  of each  stimulus,  (1988) was  interviewed  was  assigned  voluntary  a  natural  to determine  the procedure  to one of question  asked. Secondly, to  distinguish between  following  for all subjects  randomly  kind  their  outlined  and no child  and  knowledge in Gelman  was  forced to  a child  what he  complete the tasks.  Astington thought lead  was  and Gopnik  true  of a situation  display simpty  what  they  shown the stimulus, would  methodology  available followed  asking  Leekham, &  Wimmer,  sample  requires  1987) may  rather than what he thought. While two  one in which half the children are asked  of the stimulus  of the  that initially  (cf. Perner,  him to later recall what he said  presentation formats,  size  (1988) noted  think  during  the initial  the object is and the remainder are  control for the possibilitj^ of a confound, the  group  was  knowledge  21  insufficient  of a  child's  for this original  purpose.  The  representation in  METHODOLOGY order  to determine  representational and  explicitly  whether  change asked  or  question.  subjects  not the subject Therefore  during  has  I followed  the presentation  correctlj'  Perner  / 22  answered the  et al.'s procedure  of the stimuli what  they  thought the first picture in each pair to be.  3.2. EXPERIMENTAL  HYPOTHESES  The following experimental hypotheses were proposed:  HI  AGE  - A  children  main will  effect for age is predicted  answer  the representational  across  domain  change  type.  question  Older  correctly  more often than younger children. H2  DOMAIN Subjects  - A will  main, effect of domain answer  is predicted  the representational  across  change  age groups.  question  correctly  more often for natural kind stimuli than for human artifact stimuli. AGE  H3  x  DOMAIN  responses  -  Younger  subjects  to the representational  change  will  provide  question  more  for natural  correct kinds  than for human artifacts.  3.3.  SUBJECTS  Subjects four-year-old mean  =  pre-school  were  22  (4;01 - 4; 11,  three-year-old mean  =  (3;01  4;05) and  5;05) children  currently  drawing  of its students from  most  attending  -  3;11,  mean  =  3;06)  25  19 five-year-old (5;00 - 5; 11,  the U.B.C.  Child  Study  Centre, a  the surrounding upper-middle class  METHODOLOGY community. Each child was  given an  Astington and  Gopnik  to  between  past  change  test  distinguish  representational  shown a doll's house. A to the children. The  door was  apple was  question  saw  inside it?" As the  last  events  first  Astington and  question  he  must  happening in a  used to exclude a  necessary  During  the  opened and  then  asked  you  present,  question.  closed. Children were then "When  initial screening task, such as that used  (1988). This task was and  / 23  subjects who  skill  an  apple  failed  for answering  screening  task  the  children were  inside the house shown  removed, a doll placed inside, and  the door  "What is in the house now?", followed by the  house, before  we  by  opened  it up,  the  what  was  Gopnik noted, for a child to answer "the apple" to understand  temporal  the  question,  understand  the  concept  sequence, recall the first event,  and  be  of  able to  ignore the present state of the apple. Thus this procedure models, using physical objects, the  mental  events  change tasks (Astington &  Five  every  failed  the  (3;01  of -  the 3; 11,  Astington,  screening  successfully completing  instance  three-year-olds  for successfully completing  Gopnik; Gopnik &  three-year-olds  three-year-olds, while to  necessary  the  =  four year-olds also failed the task leaving 21  portion  excluded.  Thus  of the there  study were  only  the  17  five-year-olds in the Domain Question  task,  and  change  3;07)  a  further  in  question  the  final  four-year-olds (4;01  4;06). All the five-year-olds successfully completed second  1988)  two  screening task, failed to respond  representational mean  representational  leaving analysis.  - 4;11,  three-year-olds, portion of the  21  screening  four-year-olds  study.  Four  mean  the screening task. During  children failing the  15  task and  = the  were 19  M E T H O D O L O G Y / 24 3.4. TASK  The and  DESCRIPTION  materials used were similar in nature to the task used by Chandler  Helm's  presented  (1984)  in such  restricted a  manner  view  task  in which  as to obscure  subjects  the true  viewed  nature  of the object  portrayed. Rather than using cartoons four pairs of natural kind line and  cartoons  drawings  four pairs of human artifact line drawings, similar to those used b}' Keil  (1986), were constructed  (see Appendix). Pairs of stimuli were chosen  in which  there was a physical similarity between the two objects portrayed. The first line drawing of each pair was constructed to suggest, rather than explicitly show, the object  of interest  by partially  second  drawing, the true form  obscuring  it with  the background  of the object of interest, was constructed  flipped over the initial drawing. The final overlay was a black-out covered the two previous drawings.  The  natural kind stimulus pairs were:  1.  horse and zebra.  2.  cat and skunk.  3.  flower and tree.  4.  plum and grapes.  The human artifact stimulus pairs were: 1.  ship and bus.  2.  bicycle and car.  3.  table and chair.  details. The to be  sheet which  METHODOLOGY 4.  broom and vacuum  / 25  cleaner.  3.5. TASK PILOT  The  eight  three-year-olds, functioned  pairs  of drawings  two four-year-olds  were  pilot  tested  on  six children,  three  and one fiveyear-old, to determine if the items  in the manner predicted. None of the children in the pilot were  able  to correctly identify the obscured member of any stimulus pair.  It each  is important  stimulus  to note  that  pair by the subject  the actual may  meant to suggest. In the pilot study  name  not match  supplied  for the first of  the object  some children provided  the drawing  was  alternate names for  the first, obscured, picture of some of the pairs, though they had no difficulty in correctly child  identifying the second, the complete  supplied  a natural kind  pair, or a human The  when viewing the first of a human  for the first  member  Consequently it is not important  picture, as long  representational plum  name  pair. Further,  of a natural  no  artifact  kind  pair.  purpose of the study was to investigate children's ability to reflect on their  representations. first  artifact  name  form, of each  as he is able  change question.  as a "blueberry"  he will  Thus need  to supply  that a child  the same label  if a child to supply  the representational change question correctl}'.  correctly label the when  asked the  refers to the drawing "blueberry"  in order  of the  to answer  METHODOLOGY  / 26  3.6. PROCEDURE  Children were individually for  the study  completing  based  on  their  tested on the screening task, and final selection performance  on this  task.  Children successfully  the control task were the subjects used in the representational change  tasks. Approximately  one week after the screening  with  the representational change task.  child  was  Each  subject was individually  randomly  assigned  to a  Prior  to this  presentation  presented  with  task, subjects were  order  presented  phase of the study combining  four natural kind  each  both domains.  and four human  artifact stimulus pairs. The following story was used to introduce the task:  I have got a story to tell you. A boy named Bobby liked to go for walks. When Bobby went for walks he liked to look at many different things, and he always took his camera with him. Bobby's camera helps him to see things better when he isn't sure what something is. As Bobby was walking along one day he took a look to the side and this is what he saw (show first member of stimulus pair and ask: "What do you think this is?"). Bobby wasn't sure what it was so he looked through his special camera. When Bobby looked through the camera this is what he saw . (flip second member of stimulus pair over the first). Bobby walked a little further and then he couldn't see any more (flip over the black-out sheet).  Rather  than  repeating  the story  for each  stimulus  pair  the  remaining  drawings were introduced by continuing the story as follows:  A little further on Bobby saw this (show first member of stimulus pair and ask: "What do you think this is?"). Bobby wasn't sure what it was so he took out his special camera. When Bobby looked through the camera this is what he saw (flip second member of stimulus pair over the first). Bobby walked along a little further and then he couldn't, see an}' more (flip over the black-out sheet).  METHODOLOGY  Following  presentation  of each  stimulus  pair  the child  was  / 27  asked the  following: 1.  "When you saw the first picture, what did you think it was?"  In  order  to correctly answer the representational  needed to supply of the picture  the label that they had previously  pair  under  consideration.  Children  each correct answer, incorrect responses received The  question  of how  change question  given  were  children  for the first  given  member  a score  of 1 for  of 0 for the question.  a score  to treat "I don't know" responses is difficult in that it is  hard to determine if a child really doesn't know, doesn't understand the question, or is simply correct  providing  answer  purpose  of this  a formulaic  nor an  incorrect  studj' it was  would be statistically  treated  not  the  responding  non-responding.  to  response. Thus response,  decided  The items  they  failed  children  supplied  representational  don't know" is neither a  but rather  that  as having  "I  a  non-answer.  answering  For the  "I don't  know  an incorrect response. Children  change  to respond  question  were  scored  to were  excluded,  questions  for all  as  for those  subjects, from the analysis.  After of  pictures,  completing subjects  the representational were  interviewed  distinguish between natural kinds taken were  from  Gelman  randomly  (1988),  assigned  was  change  to  determine  if young  eight  pairs  children  do  and human artifacts. This portion of the stud}', introduced  in the following  to one of the eight  presentation  manner.  orders  Subjects  used  in the  representational change portion of the study. Children were then told "I am  going  to  make  ask you a few questions  without  any pictures. Do  you think  people  METHODOLOGY  X's?"  / 28  Where X is the second member of each pair of pictures used in the  representational change tasks. Children answering "Yes" were then asked "How?" Children answering "No" were asked "Why not?" As Gelman points out, this approach allows for the determination, at a fairly simple level, of whether or not children divide the world into man-made things, human artifacts, and objects not made by man, natural kinds.  Responses  to this portion of the  transcription and analysis.  study were tape  recorded for later  C H A P T E R 4. RESULTS  4.1. REPRESENTATIONAL  During the  human  the data  CHANGE  collection  it was  artifact pairs, that of the bicycle and car, failed  manner predicted. Sixteen six  phase of the study  children, three  five-year-olds, thought  the first  noted  that one of  to function in the  three-j^ear-olds, seven four-year-olds and  drawing  of the stimulus  pair  was  a car,  rather than a bicycle. Since the second drawing was a car a child could develop a  second  it  was  representation of a car or keep the original representation. impossible  answering  to tell  which  representation  the representational change  a  child  question. Probes  was  Regardless,  referring  to when  at the conclusion  of the  task revealed that children thought the initial drawing was a car because of two characteristics pictured  boy's  of the drawing: hands  were  there  placed  were  tires;  suggested  he was  Given the ambiguity the inclusion of this item dropped  and  the way  holding  in which the  a  steering wheel.  would cause, the picture pair was  for all subjects. Thus four natural kind  and three  human  artifact pairs  were included in the analysis.  Accordingly  the raw score  domains are shown in Table three-year-olds, artifacts and  for the fours  for the fives. As  of correct  responses  for the three  age groups  b}' the two  1 . The natural kind (NK) means were 0.87 for the  (HA) the means were  2.10  number  2.62  means  and  2.74  for the  fives.  0.33 for the three-year-olds,  the means between  reflect,  the ages  29  there  2.14 for the fours  is an  of three  For the human  increase  and  four,  in the with  a  RESULTS  / 30  plateauing between four and five. This leveling off will be further explored below. However,  as  Table  domains was  1 reflects,  the maximum  possible mean  score  in the two  not the same, due to the dropping of the one human artifact item.  Table 1 Mean Raw  Scores for Age and Domain on the Representational Change  Question  Age  NK  0.87  2.62  2.74  Maximum 4  HA  0.33  2.14  2.10  3  Mean Total  1.20  4.76  4.84  Since  the two  based on raw produce  domains  score means was  had  an  number  of items  an analysis  difficult. Therefore the data were transformed to  a proportional score for each  transformed  unequal  scores were determined  subject in each of the two  by calculating each  domains. The  subject's mean  score for  each domain. In the natural kind domain each subject's total score, the sum of the  four items, was  the number score  then Table and  of items  in either  numbers used  divided by was  domain  of items  for the human  three. Thus the maximum  was  1.0. In this  in the two  as the data  four; similarly  manner  domains was  possible transformed  the effect of having  negated. The  for further analysis. The  artifacts, though subject unequal  subject means  transformed  mean  were  scores (see  2) for the natural kinds were 0.217, 0.655 and 0.684 for the three, four five-year-olds  respectively.  For  the  human  artifacts  the  means  were  R E S U L T S / 31 respectively 0.111, 0.714 and 0.702.  Table 2 Mean Transformed Scores  for Age and Domain  on the Representational  Change  Question Age 3  4  5 Marginal  NK  0.217  0.655  0.684  0.545  HA  0.111  0.714  0.702  0.545  Marginal  0.164  0.685  0.693  0.545  Children's transformed  scores were subjected to a 3 (Age) X  analysis of variance, with repeated the  measures on the Domain  within-subjects' factor, and Age the between-subjects'  significant main effect of Age (F(2, 52) visual inspection of the transformed responses  on  17.24 _p_ <  2 (Domain)  factor. Domain  was  factor. There was 0.05) (see Table  a  3). A  means indicated that the number of correct  the representational change  question,  holding  domain  constant,  increased between the ages of three and four, but not between four and five years of age. A  Tukey post-hoc comparison (alpha =  0.05) revealed a significant  difference in performance between the three and four-year-olds, and the three and five-year-olds, but  not between four and five-year-olds. It is of interest to note  that the three-year-olds had mean transformed expected by chance alone.  scores Well below what would be  R E S U L T S / 32 Neither  the main effect for Domain  were significant ( F ( l , 52) =  0.08 _p_ >  nor the Age by Domain interaction  0.05; _F(2, 52) =  1.93  > 0.05).  Table 3 Age  by  Domain  Repeated Measures  ANOVA  for the Representational  Change  Question Source  SS  df  MS  Age Error  6.007 9.057  2 52  3.004 0.174  17.24  Domain DxA Error  0.002 0.124 1.668  1 2 52  0.002 0.062 0.032  0.08 1.93  :i:  F  _p_ < 0.05  4.2.  ITEM  ANALYSIS  The above results suggest that there is no difference between domains for ail ages. Between the ages of three performance on representational of  such  results  functioned consistency,  depend  similarly.  and four, however, there is an increase in  change, with  to some  Consequently  degree  domain held constant. on  Cronbach's  whether alpha,  The validity  or not domain a  measure  of internal  was calculated for each domain. For the natural kind stimuli, alpha  was 0.79; for the human artifacts i t was 0.74. Nelson (1974) has stated while  items  an acceptable  alpha  value  depends  upon  should be at least 0.70. It can be concluded  that,  the purpose of the study, it that each item  within  domains was functioning in a manner similar to its fellow members.  the two  RESULTS / 33  F i g u r e 1.  Mean Transformed Scores by Domain and Age f o r t h e R e p r e s e n t a t i o n a l Change Q u e s t i o n  The  coefficients of reliability provide evidence for a degree of commonality  within each domain. However the shape of Figure 1 indicates the possibility of a ceiling  effect for four  and  five-year-olds  occurs when most items are answered  across both domains.  A  ceiling  effect  correctly, thus reducing variance. If one  item within each domain was consistently eliciting incorrect responses the possible maximum would the  be depressed, increasing the likelihood that the plateau between  ages of four and five was due to a ceiling effect. In order to investigate  such a possibility an item analysis was conducted for the four and five-year-olds (see  Table 4). Correct responses for each natural kind item ranged from 5 5 % to  80%, and 6 3 % to 8 0 % for each human artifact item. The analysis suggests that no one item within either domain is consistently eliciting incorrect responses, that is, errors appear to be spread across all items for the four and five-year-olds.  Table 4 Proportion  of Four  and Five-Year-Qlds Answering  the Representational  Change  Question Correct^ for Each Item Domain NK Item  HA  1  2  3  4  1  2  3  0.60  0.73  0.80  0.55  0.70  0.80  0.63  R E S U L T S / 35  4.3. KNOWLEDGE  OF NATURAL  KINDS AND HUMAN  A major premise of this study  ARTIFACTS  was that children as young as three  years  of age do group objects into two domains: natural kinds and human artifacts. To determine whether these  children make such a distinction data  were collected for  children's response to the domain question "Do you think people X  was one of the eight natural kind  this  portion of the study  or human  was to gather  artifact  make X?" where  stimuli. The intent of  general information  regarding children's  knowledge of domain awareness.  Table 5 Domain  Appropriate  Mean Scores by Age and Domain  for the Domain  Question  Age 3  4  5 Marginal  NK  2.12  3.24  3.53  3.00  HA  1.94  2.05  2.47  2.16  Marginal  2.03  2.64  3.00  2.58  The  correct  domain question  answer,  (see Table  that  is, domain  appropriate,  5) for the natural kinds  mean  were  scores  on the  2.12, 3.24 and 3.53  for the three, four and five-year-olds respectively; and 1.94 for the threes, 2.05 fours  and 2.47 for the fives for the human  maximum  possible  three-year-olds  mean  score  was  answered at approximately  four.  artifacts.  For both  It is interesting  chance levels  for both  domains the to  note  that  domains, while  RESULTS  i g u r e 2.  Domain A p p r o p r i a t e Mean Scores by Age and Domain f o r the Domain Q u e s t i o n  /  36  R E S U L T S / 37 the four and five-year-olds were  considerably above chance for the natural kinds  (see Figure 2).  Children's answers for the domain question were X  2 (Domain) repeated  includes  the two  measures A N O V A  three-year-olds  who  (see Table  were  change analysis since they failed to respond was  a significant  post-hoc  main  effect  comparison (alpha  =  of correct answers between  analyzed  with a 3 (Age)  6). Note that this analysis  excluded  from  the representational  to any of the stimulus items. There  for Age (F(2, 54) =  7.41 _p_ <  0.05). A  Tukey  0.05) revealed a significant increase in the number  the ages of three and four, and three and five, but  not between four and five.  Table 6 Age by Domain  Repeated Measures A N O V A  Source  for the Domain  Question  SS  df  Age Error  17.180 62.613  2 54  8.588 1.160  7.41 *  Domain DxA Error  18.401 5.461 54.328  1 2 54  18.401 2.731 1.006  18.29 * 2.71  :,:  MS  F  _p_ < 0.05  There was also a significant main effect for Domain <  (F(l, 54) =  18.40 _p_  0.05). Inspection of the two means, 3.00 and 2.16 for the natural kinds and  human answered  artifacts  respectively,  the domain  question  revealed correctly  that, more  holding  age  constant,  often for natural kinds  children than for  R E S U L T S / 38 human  artifacts.  (F(2, 54) =  However, the Age by  1.01  >  to gain  some  cognitive  level,  artifacts  only justifications  appropriate  "Why  indication  had knowledge  tabulated. Justifications developmental  was  not?". Since this of whether  of differences  for correct  for incorrect responses  7  or not the subjects, at the  between  responses  justification  for an  natural  kinds  to the domain  are definitely  incorrect  "How?";  portion of the stud}  response  and human  question were  of interest in most  studies; however, there is considerable difficulty  domain  not significant  "Yes" to the domain question were then asked  those responding "No" were asked designed  interaction  0.05).  Children answering  was  Domain  in interpreting an  to the the domain  question. Further, it was felt that the ambiguity of any such interpretation would not help clarify whether or not children do group the world in terms domains  of interest.  Consequently  justifications  for incorrect  responses  of the two were not  tabulated. Responses were classified in a manner similar to that used by Gelman (1988). Children's mentioned "Zebras made  some come  by  mentioned  answers  for natural  characteristic  from  a mother  God. Answers  of a  kind  living  terms thing,  were judged  suitable  if thej'  for example,  "Grapes  grow",  zebra"; or if children  for human  artifacts  the use of tools, for example  stated  were judged  that  the item  was  appropriate if they  "You use a hammer  to make a chair";  or specified specific parts, such as "You put wheels on a bus".  For were judged 53  natural  kind  terms  seven  to be suitable, compared  (21%) of the three-year-olds' justifications with  66 (88%) of the four-year-olds' and  (77%) of the five-year-oids' (see Table 7). For human  artifacts the number of  R E S U L T S / 39 appropriate and  responses was  30  five-year-olds. A l l age  responses  to  ages of three number  the  domain  and  interesting  to  groups had questions.  four, but  of appropriate note  (68%), 43  a  and  varying  There  is a  for the  three-year-olds  were  56  (88%)  for the three, four  degrees of difficulty noticeable  drop between the  justifications  that  (77%)  ages of four and  natural able  increase  kind to  stimuli.  provide  in justifying between  the  five,  the  on  Further,  it is  considerably  more  suitable justifications for human artifacts than for natural kinds.  Table 7 Justifications  for Correct Answers to Domain Question by  Domain and  Age  Age 3  4  5  NK  HA  NK  HA  NK  HA  7  30  66  43  53  56  Unsuitable  27  14  9  13  16  8  Total  34  44  75  56  69  64  Justifications Suitable  C H A P T E R 5. D I S C U S S I O N A N D C O N C L U S I O N S  The trend  analysis of the data  in the understanding  two  domains. This  that  representational  Astington Wimmer than  &  change  Perner,  chance  increases  1988; Flavell, 1983). While  across  representational  of representational  result is in line with  Gopnik,  &  suggests that there  domains,  change  change, which  is robust  a wide bodj' of research  between  the ages of three  both  four  correctly  interesting to note that in the present  performed  and  study  there  66%  which notes  Wimmer, 1987;  at considerably  fiveyear-olds  at least  over the  and five (e.g.,  1988; Perner, Leekham, &  three-year-olds'  question  is an overall developmental  less  answered  of the time.  the It is  was no significant difference  in performance between the four and five-year-olds on the representational change question. Previous have  indicated  significantly four.  studies (Astington that  between  However,  &  performance  on  the ages of four  the  present  Gopnik, 1988; Gopnik & representational  change  and five as well  studj'  suggests  that  Astington, 1988) tasks  as between the  improves three and  understanding  of  representational change occurs mainly between the ages of three and four.  It necessary tasks  is possible cognitive  that  skills  presented. That  by  the age of four  for successfully completing  is, the results imply  occurs between the ages of three four  gradually  and  Astington  have  developed the  the representational  r  the present  over  study  the next few years. purposely  drawings of human artifacts and natural kinds  40  change  that the largest developmental jump  and four; cognitive growth be3 ond  refines a child's facility (1988)  children  restricted  the age of  Unlike  Gopnik  the stimuli to  with which it could reasonably be  DISCUSSION A N D expected  all children  demonstrating  would  have  basic  knowledge  a significant developmental progression  CONCLUSIONS of.  Previous  / 41  findings  between four and five  may  be a reflection of the wide range of domain materials used in such experiments.  5.1. DOMAIN  No  EFFECTS  support  representational for  human  was  change  artifact  found task  stimuli;  domain  interaction. Visual  between  the two domains  for the hypothesis  correctly more neither  was  inspection  there  of Figure  for the four  did have a mean transformed score  often  that  children  for natural  evidence  kind  the lack  and five-year-olds, though  the  stimuli than  of a significant  1 reflects  for natural kinds  answer  age by  of difference three-year-olds  twice as large as that for  human artifacts.  Both  Carey  (1985) and Sugarman  (1983) have  children have intuitive knowledge about the world. This child  to make  decisions  about possible  this it is of interest to consider the  two  domains  three-year-olds' answer  were  out that  young  knowledge is used by a  in a given  situation. In light of  the nature of the three-year-olds' results. Though  not significantly  scores  points  the representational  change  natural kinds  mean  actions  pointed  was twice as large  different, the difference  to possible question  dissimilarities  across  between the  in their  ability to  domains. The mean  as that for the human  for  the  artifacts. The pattern  of the results suggests it would be worthwhile to further investigate the nature of  three-year-olds'  cognitive  skill  knowledge  of the two  and an understanding  domains  and  of representational  the link  between  this  change. A t present  any  DISCUSSION A N D  C O N C L U S I O N S / 42  domain difference is masked to some degree by the overall lack of three-year-olds to  cope with  appear  the representational change  to disappear  by  the time  task. Further, any domain differences  children,  around  the age of four, begin to  master representational change.  The in  light  lack of an overall significant domain effect is interesting to consider  of the data  ages, mean though  scores  gathered  on subjects' domain  on the domain  not by large degree  question  for human  However, three-year-olds question  further  differed  across  analysis  significantly  This suggests  domains  These  are above chance,  results  would  of the domain from  four  question  data  revealed  of the means  (see Table  is somewhat  (Carey,  1982, 1985; Gelman, 1987; Keil,  children  just  beginning  kinds and human  to talk  5) shows  at chance regardless of the domain considered.  that the younger children do not have a solid grasp  of natural kinds. This  that  and five-year-olds on the domain  of whether or  not something is man-made; that is, three-year-olds do not understand nature  seem to  into two domains.  the two domains. Inspection  that the three-year-olds performed  for both  artifacts.  indicate that children do group the world  knowledge. Collapsing across  already  out of line  with  the special  previous  research  1986, 1987) that has pointed out that  are able  to distinguish  between natural  artifacts.  If, as Carey  (1985) feels, childhood  is a time of conceptual restructuring  it would appear, that the ability to report on such is not evident until the age of  four,  at  least  in the  two  domains  under  consideration.  Three-year-olds'  DISCUSSION A N D performance  indicates that they  have  little  reportable understanding  domains of interest. Interestingly Gelman (1987) found three  used  categories as sources  C O N C L U S I O N S / 43 of the two  that children as young as  of information for drawing  inferences. That is,  children used their knowledge of natural kind terms to organize and expand their knowledge. But the results of the present study be  indicate that, while children may  aware of commonalities underlying various natural kind terms, three-year-olds  do not consistently report that natural kinds are not made by man.  Though the A N O V A between and  age and domain, there  five-year-olds had higher  kinds than age  for the domain question did not reveal an interaction  groups  chance  to  mean  scores  pattern  reveals above  that  three  chance.  is, four  on the domain  question  (1988) found  domain  question  five-year-olds range performed  and five-year-olds appear  three-year-olds have little Gelman  through  Three-year-olds  as not man-made than  for natural  correctly  at  chance  to be more  the}' are of human  artifacts  four-year-olds  slightly  below  regardless  aware  of  of natural  as man-made,  approximately domains having  Gelman's  as often  while  present  four-year-olds did not do as well as those  had  almost  as much  and the present  as the three-year-olds artifacts.  a similar  artifacts  as for  means considerably above chance levels.  The  for human  answered  for human  difference between  difficulty  results  and second-graders  The  correctly  from  awareness of the distinction between the two domains.  that  natural kinds, with both  question  within the data. Four  for human artifacts. Mean scores for human artifacts across the three  domain. That kinds  is an interesting  Yet their  study  are interesting.  in Gelman's study, and in answering  performance  when  the domain considering  natural kinds was much better, and is not significantly different from that of the  DISCUSSION A N D five-year-olds. Thus in  the natural  the present  kind  domain,  results suggest  CONCLUSIONS  a similarity  but are discrepant  with  with  / 44  Gelman's  Gelman's  work  results  using  human artifacts.  The domain differences across the ages on the domain question suggests it is  worthwhile  to consider  how  children  approach  the task.  To  some  degree  answers to the domain question reflect children's interpretation of what it means to "make" something. It would be interesting to probe children's understanding of the  domain  question. Do  children understand  in general, or do they  interpret it with  one child stated, "Cars  are too hard  the question  as referring  to people  reference to an individual's abilities? As  to make"; suggesting that he interpreted the  domain question as referring to his ability, or that of any non-expert, to make a car.  It is possible  that  misinterpretation, thus  the  abstract  confounding  nature  of the  children's true domain  question  leads  to a  knowledge, at least for  three-year-olds.  Justifications some  interesting  data.  Both  for the correct answers to the domain  results, though  three  and  no inferential  five-year-olds  question  analysis was  answering  the domain  also provide  conducted question  on  these  correctly  offered a greater proportion of appropriate justifications for human  artifacts  than  for  pattern.  Thus  natural  kinds.  while the data  However,  the four-year-olds  had the reverse  indicate a developmental increase across the three age groups for  the human artifacts, the natural kind data  is harder  to generalize, since there is  a drop in the proportion of appropriate justifications between four and five years of age for natural kinds. Further  investigation  is called on to see if this result  DISCUSSION A N D is a chance artifact or a true indication of the general between across  four  nature of the difference  and five-year-olds. Regardless, the results suggest  age groups, children answering  appropriately  C O N C L U S I O N S / 45  justify  their  answers  the domain question  more  often  that, collapsing  correctly are able to  for human  artifacts  than for  natural kinds.  Given that the domain question natural kinds  than for human  interesting. It would not  something  reporting, why  appear  artifacts, the pattern  that  is man-made this may  was answered correctly more often for the  being  is a  able  to distinguish between  separate  be so. Carey  of justifications is especially  consideration  from  (1982, 1985) has pointed  whether or knowing, or  out that young  children, and adults, for that matter, lack complete scientific awareness of natural kinds. Explaining natural  kinds.  rudimentarj', them  why  something is not man-made  If, as  intuitive  has  knowledge  to articulate their  kinds.  In  contrast,  been  of natural  correct  explaining  argued,  response  how  requires  j'oung kinds  explicit knowledge of  children  largely  have  a  it may  not be  possible for  to the domain  question  for natural  human  artifacts  are made  requires  only  knowledge of parts or processes.  The  fact that there were no significant differences between domains on the  representational  change  question  suggests  that  domain  secondary consideration. That is, by the time a child consider  the ontological nature of a stimulus,  cognitive  mechanisms  Whether  these  to deal  mechanisms  successfully  consist  knowledge  is developmentally  he already with  a  able to  possesses the necessary  representational  of the ability  is perhaps  to represent  change the  tasks.  modelling  DISCUSSION A N D process,  as Perner  (1988) feels,  (Wimmer, Hogrefe, &  or the awareness  C O N C L U S I O N S / 46  of sources  Sodian, 1988), or some combination of the two approaches  is open to speculation. It is worth noting that the present demonstrated complete  an  understanding  of representational  comprehension of the domain  about whether or not an item time  as  they  begin  to  question.  change,  but did not have  Moreover, children's  is man-made apparently  successful completion of the representational change question  may  EDUCATIONAL  The First,  human  study  has some  of domain  basic  differences; that  to be fundamentally  evidence in their verbal  between  the two  knowledge answer  domains.  base of young  simple  that  not depend on  IMPLICATIONS  present  artifacts  suggests  sources for children above the age of four.  the results appear to indicate that  knowledge  give  representational  knowledge  develops around the same This  knowledge of information  master  four and five-year-olds  change.  5.2.  of information  questions  reports  implications four  they  do not consider  that they this  have  of  a grasp  suggests  children is limited. Further, lack  practices.  and five-year-olds do have natural  the same. Three-year-olds,  Educationally,  their  for educational  knowledge  hinders  kinds  and  however, do not of the differences  that  while  some  the declarative  young their  children can ability  to  differentiate between domains in a manner similar to one that adults may use.  The  difference  between  representational change question  natural  kind  and human  for the three-year-olds  may  artifact  means  on the  indicate that for very  young children an understanding of representational change is linked somewhat to  DISCUSSION AND their  domain  specific  knowledge. Naive  domain  theories  C O N C L U S I O N S / 47  may  affect the type of  activities such children are capable of successfully performing. This, too, may be worth considering when introducing concepts to children below the age of four.  Four on  their  and five-year-olds' domain  understanding  progression  of representational  appears not to have  change.  However,  dealing  with  means  by  practices. Much  deals with organizing old knowledge and incorporating new  into existing knowledge both which  with  structures. These knowledge  typical  and novel  individuals  novel  come  situations.  Programs  knowledge  structures are then used for  situations. Representational to manipulate  an effect  the developmental  of representational change is important to educational  of education  dealing  knowledge  their  attempting  change  knowledge to  is one  base  promote  when  knowledge  restructuring at an early age need to be aware of the limitations young children have.  Activities in which very or  to predict  different  future  representations  young children are expected to reflect on changes,  occurrences,  require  and notice  a  child  to construct  differences between  at least  them. That  two  is, the child  must have an understanding of representational change. Yet as the present  study  indicates earty preschool  children do not have a grasp of representational change,  nor  knowledge.  of domain  aware  of  not  specific only  metacognitive abilities.  the  cognitive  Teachers abilities  of preschool of  children,  children but  need  also  of  to be their  DISCUSSION  5.3.  AND  CONCLUSIONS  / 48  CONCLUSIONS  In  summarj',  the results  suggest  that  four  and five-year-olds perform  significantly better on representational change tasks than do three-year-olds, which is  in general  accordance  with  previous  research.  That  construct two different models of the world, recognize the two and act upon the resulting metarepresentation  Further, and  there  five-year-olds,  considered,  though  is support can  this  for the argument  distinguish knowledge  between  is limited  are able to  the discrepancies between (Wimmer &  that  the  is, they  two  1983).  children, at least domains  in all three  Perner,  of  four  knowledge  age groups. It would  appear, though, that the knowledge children have about natural kinds and human artifacts is of little consequence change  tasks.  Success  in their successful completion  in the representational  change  task  of representational was  independent of  domain.  There is a need to consider some of the limitations of the present The  deletion  unpredictability may  of  an  item  from  the  of children's perception  human  artifact  of stimuli. A  domain  study.  highlights the  more extensive  pilot  study  have been of benefit in the final selection and development of the stimulus  items used in the present  study.  Generalizability of the results is somewhat constrained by the properties of the  sample  used. The U.B.C. Child  Study  Centre  is the source  of subjects for  manj' developmental studies. Many of the four and five-j^ear-old children used for  DISCUSSION this  study  have  years. It is not performance  participated inconceivable  in a that  in all experimental  number such  has  had  Further, the  centre are primarily  from  upper  middle-class backgrounds.  the  with  other  studies  overall  results  limitations are minimal.  in  CONCLUSIONS  of experiments  exposure  situations.  AND  the  literature  over an  the  impact  children  last on  /  49 two  their  attending the  Still, the similarit}' of suggests  that  these  REFERENCES Abbeduto, L., &  Rosenberg, S. (1985). 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Anscombe,  APPENDIX  The  following  human  contains  artifact  copies of the four  natural  pairs. The initial member  kind  pairs  the  four  the  letter A; the second member by the letter B. Additionally, the pair excluded  from the analysis are marked  with an asterisk.  56  of each pair  followed by  is indicated by  / 57  A. Horse  / 58  B. Zebra  / 59  A. Cat  c B. Skunk  A. Flower  1,1  B. Tree  / 63  A. Plum  / 64  B. Grapes  / 65  A. Ship  B. Bus  / 68  B. Car  *  / 69  A. Table  / 70  B. C h a i r  / 71  A. Broom  / 72  B. Vacuum C l e a n e r  


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