To save content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save content items to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
This chapter examines the role of language in children’s categorization. Children categorize every time they treat discriminably different items as in some way the same. A nine-month-old tosses a foam ball, a round candle, and American football, treating them all as throwable objects. A toddler points to a cow and calls it a “dog,” treating all four-legged mammals as somehow alike. A three-year-old wisely observes, “Butterflies have bones,” making a general claim about the abstract set of butterflies. Categories organize human experience, provide the building blocks of thought, and operate on every sort of content: objects, persons, events, mental states, abstract ideas, and logical elements.
This article examines two interrelated issues: (i) how considering generics within their social contexts of use contributes to theories of generics, and (ii) how contemporary work on generics provides promising directions for the study of language as an aspect of social life. Examining the function of generics in meaningful interactions stands in contrast to standard treatments, which consider generics as isolated, context-free propositions. Additionally, recent psychological approaches suggest new questions that can enrich sociolinguistic and linguistic anthropological research. These include, for example, when and why generics serve not just negative functions (such as stereotyping) but also positive functions (such as meaning-making), how generics gain their power from what is unstated as opposed to stated, and how generic language distorts academic writing. Ultimately, the study of language in society has the potential to enrich the study of generics beyond what has been learned from their study in linguistics, philosophy, and psychology. (Generics, concepts, categories, stereotyping, induction)*
Children provide a unique and valuable window onto understanding human intelligence. A key feature of childhood is the capacity to take in, organize, and process information in a manner that gives rise to a variety of intelligent behaviors and modes of reasoning. Although children lack content knowledge and experience, they are experts at learning – and sometimes demonstrate even better learning potential than adults. This learning is situated in the social world, which allows children to selectively learn from other people and engage in the process of cultural transmission. The study of children also deeply considers the reasons for children’s errors and the mechanisms underlying the development of more intelligent thought. The chapter is organized into five sections, each addressing a key theme of childhood intelligence: continuity amid developmental change, multiple modes of reasoning, when children outperform adults, the role of social context, and policy implications. Each section focuses on a few content areas that illustrate the theme and how it relates to intelligence. We draw on literature from the full childhood period from two years to eighteen years, though the primary focus is on children in preschool and elementary school (2–10), where the majority of research has been done.
Frascati international research criteria for HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) are controversial; some investigators have argued that Frascati criteria are too liberal, resulting in a high false positive rate. Meyer et al. recommended more conservative revisions to HAND criteria, including exploring other commonly used methodologies for neurocognitive impairment (NCI) in HIV including the global deficit score (GDS). This study compares NCI classifications by Frascati, Meyer, and GDS methods, in relation to neuroimaging markers of brain integrity in HIV.
Two hundred forty-one people living with HIV (PLWH) without current substance use disorder or severe (confounding) comorbid conditions underwent comprehensive neurocognitive testing and brain structural magnetic resonance imaging and magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Participants were classified using Frascati criteria versus Meyer criteria: concordant unimpaired [Frascati(Un)/Meyer(Un)], concordant impaired [Frascati(Imp)/Meyer(Imp)], or discordant [Frascati(Imp)/Meyer(Un)] which were impaired via Frascati criteria but unimpaired via Meyer criteria. To investigate the GDS versus Meyer criteria, the same groupings were utilized using GDS criteria instead of Frascati criteria.
When examining Frascati versus Meyer criteria, discordant Frascati(Imp)/Meyer(Un) individuals had less cortical gray matter, greater sulcal cerebrospinal fluid volume, and greater evidence of neuroinflammation (i.e., choline) than concordant Frascati(Un)/Meyer(Un) individuals. GDS versus Meyer comparisons indicated that discordant GDS(Imp)/Meyer(Un) individuals had less cortical gray matter and lower levels of energy metabolism (i.e., creatine) than concordant GDS(Un)/Meyer(Un) individuals. In both sets of analyses, the discordant group did not differ from the concordant impaired group on any neuroimaging measure.
The Meyer criteria failed to capture a substantial portion of PLWH with brain abnormalities. These findings support continued use of Frascati or GDS criteria to detect HIV-associated CNS dysfunction.
Objectives: Studies of neurocognitively elite older adults, termed SuperAgers, have identified clinical predictors and neurobiological indicators of resilience against age-related neurocognitive decline. Despite rising rates of older persons living with HIV (PLWH), SuperAging (SA) in PLWH remains undefined. We aimed to establish neuropsychological criteria for SA in PLWH and examined clinically relevant correlates of SA. Methods: 734 PLWH and 123 HIV-uninfected participants between 50 and 64 years of age underwent neuropsychological and neuromedical evaluations. SA was defined as demographically corrected (i.e., sex, race/ethnicity, education) global neurocognitive performance within normal range for 25-year-olds. Remaining participants were labeled cognitively normal (CN) or impaired (CI) based on actual age. Chi-square and analysis of variance tests examined HIV group differences on neurocognitive status and demographics. Within PLWH, neurocognitive status differences were tested on HIV disease characteristics, medical comorbidities, and everyday functioning. Multinomial logistic regression explored independent predictors of neurocognitive status. Results: Neurocognitive status rates and demographic characteristics differed between PLWH (SA=17%; CN=38%; CI=45%) and HIV-uninfected participants (SA=35%; CN=55%; CI=11%). In PLWH, neurocognitive groups were comparable on demographic and HIV disease characteristics. Younger age, higher verbal IQ, absence of diabetes, fewer depressive symptoms, and lifetime cannabis use disorder increased likelihood of SA. SA reported increased independence in everyday functioning, employment, and health-related quality of life than non-SA. Conclusions: Despite combined neurological risk of aging and HIV, youthful neurocognitive performance is possible for older PLWH. SA relates to improved real-world functioning and may be better explained by cognitive reserve and maintenance of cardiometabolic and mental health than HIV disease severity. Future research investigating biomarker and lifestyle (e.g., physical activity) correlates of SA may help identify modifiable neuroprotective factors against HIV-related neurobiological aging. (JINS, 2019, 25, 507–519)
Boyer & Petersen's (B&P's) evolutionary approach to folk-economic beliefs is insightful, with far-reaching implications. We add to their discussion by positing a complementary developmental approach to the study of “emporiophobia” – studying children whose behaviors provide insight into developmental origins. We hypothesize that emporiophobia emerges early in childhood through proximal mechanisms and propose that emporiophobia develops alongside emporiophilia.
Objectives: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) disproportionately affects Hispanics/Latinos in the United States, yet little is known about neurocognitive impairment (NCI) in this group. We compared the rates of NCI in large well-characterized samples of HIV-infected (HIV+) Latinos and (non-Latino) Whites, and examined HIV-associated NCI among subgroups of Latinos. Methods: Participants included English-speaking HIV+ adults assessed at six U.S. medical centers (194 Latinos, 600 Whites). For overall group, age: M=42.65 years, SD=8.93; 86% male; education: M=13.17, SD=2.73; 54% had acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. NCI was assessed with a comprehensive test battery with normative corrections for age, education and gender. Covariates examined included HIV-disease characteristics, comorbidities, and genetic ancestry. Results: Compared with Whites, Latinos had higher rates of global NCI (42% vs. 54%), and domain NCI in executive function, learning, recall, working memory, and processing speed. Latinos also fared worse than Whites on current and historical HIV-disease characteristics, and nadir CD4 partially mediated ethnic differences in NCI. Yet, Latinos continued to have more global NCI [odds ratio (OR)=1.59; 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.13–2.23; p<.01] after adjusting for significant covariates. Higher rates of global NCI were observed with Puerto Rican (n=60; 71%) versus Mexican (n=79, 44%) origin/descent; this disparity persisted in models adjusting for significant covariates (OR=2.40; CI=1.11–5.29; p=.03). Conclusions: HIV+ Latinos, especially of Puerto Rican (vs. Mexican) origin/descent had increased rates of NCI compared with Whites. Differences in rates of NCI were not completely explained by worse HIV-disease characteristics, neurocognitive comorbidities, or genetic ancestry. Future studies should explore culturally relevant psychosocial, biomedical, and genetic factors that might explain these disparities and inform the development of targeted interventions. (JINS, 2018, 24, 163–175)
• Adam (age two and a half) was taking a bath, and his mother said, “I'm going to get the shampoo” as she reached for the bottle of shampoo, which had a cap in the form of Winnie-the-Pooh's head. Adam replied, without missing a beat, “I want sham-piglet,” pointing at the bottle of bath bubbles, which had a cap in the form of Piglet's head. (Gelman, 2003, p. viii)
• A conversation between a child (age two years) and her father:
• “The water is the fish's house.” (Sophie, age three years; we thank Sophie's father, Andrew Gelman, for supplying this example)
• “Do animals like pomegranates?” (Abe, age two years, 11 months; Gelman, 2003, p. 205)
Although this chapter concerns creativity, we do not consider ourselves to be “creativity researchers” – that is, we do not study creativity per se. Rather, we are developmental psychologists who study children's concepts. However, we argue in this chapter that young children's ordinary thought entails a considerable degree of creativity. Specifically, children organize knowledge in creative ways, from a very young age. Our main goal is to make this case with four key illustrations (paralleling the preceding examples), including (1) nonconventional language use, (2) pretense, (3) theory construction, and (4) generalizing from specifics. Although some of these cases will be familiar to those who study creativity (e.g., nonliteral language use and pretense are prototypical examples of creativity in children and are linked to creative endeavors for adults, such as poetry or theater), others are not so readily understood as displaying creativity. So part of our task is to explain why and how we consider these commonplace cognitive activities to be embedded in a creative approach to knowledge. Additionally, we hope to raise some more general questions concerning what counts as creativity, the developmental fate of creativity, and the relation between creativity and cognition more broadly.
First, a note on what we mean by “young children.” Our focus is on children who can talk but have not yet begun formal schooling, primarily two- to five-year-olds. This age group is of particular interest for several reasons.
Generic language (Owlseat at night) expresses knowledge about categories and may represent a cognitively default mode of generalization. English-speaking children and adults more accurately recall generic than quantified sentences (All owlseat at night) and tend to recall quantified sentences as generic. However, generics in English are shorter than quantified sentences, and may be better recalled for this reason. The present study provided a new test of the issue in Spanish, where generics are expressed with an additional linguistic element not found in certain quantified sentences (Los búhoscomen de noche ‘Owls eat at night’ [generic] vs. Muchos búhoscomen de noche ‘Many owls eat at night’ [quantified]). Both preschoolers and adults recalled generics more accurately than quantified sentences, and quantified sentences were more often recalled as generic than the reverse. These findings provide strong additional evidence for generics as a cognitive default, in an understudied cultural context.
Cimpian & Salomon (C&S) provide evidence that psychological essentialism rests on a domain-general attention to inherent causes. We suggest that the inherence heuristic may itself be undergirded by a more foundational cognitive bias, namely, a realist assumption about environmental regularities. In contrast, when considering specific representations, people may be more likely to activate attention to non-inherent, contingent, and historical links.
Bullot & Reber (B&R) provide compelling evidence that sensitivity to context, history, and design stance are crucial to theories of art appreciation. We ask how these ideas relate to broader aspects of human cognition. Further open questions concern how psychological essentialism contributes to art appreciation and how essentialism regarding created artifacts (such as art) differs from essentialism in other domains.
English-speaking children understand and produce generic expressions in the preschool years, but there are cross-linguistic differences in how generics are expressed. Three studies examined interpretation of generic noun phrases in three- to seven-year-old child (N=192) and adult speakers (N=163) of Mandarin Chinese. Contrary to suggestions by Bloom (1981), Chinese-speaking adults honor a clear distinction between generics (expressed as bare NPs) and other quantified expressions (‘all’/suo3you3 and ‘some’/you3de). Furthermore, Mandarin-speaking children begin to distinguish generics from ‘all’ or ‘some’ as early as five years, as shown in both confirmation (Study 2) and property-generation (Study 3) tasks. Nonetheless, the developmental trajectory for Chinese appears prolonged relative to English and this seems to reflect difficulty with ‘all’ and ‘some’ rather than difficulty with generics. Altogether these results suggest that generics are primary, and that the consistency of markings affects the rate at which non-generic NPs are distinguished from generics.
Parental input represents an important source of language socialization. Particularly in bilingual contexts, parents may model pragmatic language use and metalinguistic strategies to highlight language differences. The present study examines multiparty interactions involving 28 bilingual English- and Marathi-speaking parent–child pairs in the presence of monolingual bystanders (children's mean ages = 3 years, 2 months and 4 years, 6 months). Their language use was analyzed during three sessions: parent and child alone, parent and child with the English speaker, and parent and child with the Marathi speaker. Parents demonstrated pragmatic differentiation by using relatively more of the bystander's language; however, children did not show this sensitivity. Further, parents used a variety of strategies to discuss language differences, such as providing and requesting translations; children translated most often in response to explicit requests. The results indicate that parents model pragmatic language differentiation as well as metalinguistic talk that may contribute to children's metalinguistic awareness.
The present studies examined factors that influence children's and adults' interpretation of a novel word. Four factors are hypothesized to emphasize that a label refers to a richly structured category (also known as a ‘kind’): generic language, internal property attributions, familiar kind labels and absence of a target photograph. In Study 1, for college students (N=125), internal property attributions resulted in more taxonomic and fewer shape responses. In Study 2, for four-year-olds (N=126), the presence of generic language and familiar kind labels resulted in more taxonomic choices. Further, the presence of familiar kind labels resulted in fewer shape choices. The results suggest that, when learning new words, children and adults are sensitive to factors that imply kind reference.
This study investigated overextensions in comprehension and production using a new method (the preferential-looking paradigm) in which children (N = 99, mean age (younger) = 1;9, mean age (older) = 2;3) were asked to find the referent that matched the label they were given. Both Real Referent (in which there was a match) and Anomalous (in which there was no match) trials were included, as well as nonverbal control trials. During the Real Referent trials, all children significantly preferred the matching puppet. During the Anomalous trials, children showed no preference with two of the labels (dog and cat); however, they did show a preference when ‘cow’ was requested but not available. There were no differences based on prior overextension performance in production. It is concluded that overextensions in production are not diagnostic of children's underlying semantic representations, and that anomalous trials in comprehension provide useful information concerning young children's lexical entries.
Previous tasks have shown that preschool and early elementary school-children typically have trouble learning and identifying homonyms (Peters & Zaidel, 1980; Mazzocco, 1989). It is possible that a one-to-one mapping assumption or a lack of metalinguistic skills makes homonym learning and identification particularly difficult. In three experiments we examined a total of 60 three-year-olds' ability to pick out homonym pairs, and the extent to which they realize that although homonyms share a common label, they represent two different categories. In Experiment 1 subjects were asked to identify homonym pairs. In Experiment 2, homonym pairs and non-homonym pairs were labelled, then children were asked whether the pairs had the same name, and whether they were the same kind of thing. In Experiment 3 children were shown one-half of each of several homonym and non-homonym pairs, then asked to identify a name match and a category match from a set of pictures. From these experiments we conclude that children have the metalinguistic skills necessary to identify homonym pairs; moreover, they realized that homonyms represent two different categories. Finally, if children have a one-to-one mapping assumption, it is not strong enough to prevent them from acquiring homonyms.
On some views of language, when one uses a term to describe or label an object, a contrast is always implied. However, there is an important difference between nouns and adjectives in their contrastive use: adjectives imply a contrast between members of a single noun category, whereas nouns do not imply a contrast between members of a single adjective category. For example, describing a car as new suggests a contrast with other cars. However, labelling it as a car does not as clearly imply a contrast with other new objects. There is no logical necessity for this distinction – it is not captured by the literal meanings of words. Yet it is a conceptual distinction implicit in the use of these terms. In two studies, we tested preschool children's appreciation for this conceptual distinction, using both familiar and unfamiliar words. In Study I, 4-year-olds (but not 3-year-olds) were able to disambiguate the meanings of simple nouns and adjectives by assuming that the adjectives, unlike the nouns, implied a contrast between category members. In Study II, children selected pictures to match totally novel adjectives and nouns (e.g. the fep one, the skub). Relying on part of speech alone, they interpreted these unfamiliar nouns and adjectives differently. Implications for children's use of referential language and word-learning strategies are discussed.