The development of induction based on noun and feature labels

Naomi Sweller*, Brett K. Hayes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


In two experiments, we examined the development of sensitivity to the inductive potential of shared novel noun and feature labels. Children (4-year-olds, 5-year-olds, and 8-year-olds) and adults were presented with a complete base stimulus and an incomplete target. The task was to infer whether the missing target feature matched the corresponding base feature. The base and target were given matching or mismatching novel labels, which were either count nouns or adjectives describing object features. Use of matching labels for induction increased with age. Nevertheless, all age groups were more likely to make inferences based on novel noun labels rather than feature labels. These results support the view that even preschool children grasp the conceptual significance of count nouns for induction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1048-1055
Number of pages8
JournalPsychonomic Bulletin and Review
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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