How Special Are Objects? Children's Reasoning about Objects, Parts, and Holes
Giralt (Nuria) & Bloom (Paul)
Source: Psychological Science, Vol. 11, No. 6 (Nov., 2000), pp. 497-501
Paper - Abstract

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Authors' Introduction

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

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