Document Detail

Induction, overhypothesis, and the origin of abstract knowledge. Evidence from 9-month-old infants.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21078899     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Human cognition relies on the ability to extract generalizable knowledge from limited evidence. One type of inductive learning, overhypothesis formation, allows learners to make inferences that take them beyond the limits of direct experience, leading to the creation of abstract knowledge. The developmental roots of this ability have yet to be investigated. We report three experiments examining whether 9-month-old infants are capable of forming overhypotheses. Our results show that when given evidence about a few objects in some category, infants formed a second-order generalization about categories in general. These findings provide evidence that infants possess a powerful mechanism for inductive learning-a mechanism that may be applied to many domains and that can account for the development of many inductive biases later on.
Kathryn M Dewar; Fei Xu
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2010-11-15
Journal Detail:
Title:  Psychological science     Volume:  21     ISSN:  1467-9280     ISO Abbreviation:  Psychol Sci     Publication Date:  2010 Dec 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-12-15     Completed Date:  2011-04-04     Revised Date:  2011-09-06    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9007542     Medline TA:  Psychol Sci     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1871-7     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Psychology, 2136 West Mall, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1Z4, Canada.
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MeSH Terms
Child Development*
Child Psychology
Color Perception
Concept Formation*
Form Perception

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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