Alan Kersten

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Three experiments provided evidence that 3.5- to 4-year-old English-speaking children (N = 72) attend to the appearances of novel objects, not only when they hear a novel noun, but also when they hear a novel verb. Children learning nouns in the context of novel, moving objects attended exclusively to the appearances of objects, even though nouns were also(More)
Four experiments provide evidence that people are biased to associate particular types of motion with nouns and different types of motion with verbs. Novel nouns and verbs were related to two types of motion: (1) path, or the direction of motion of one character with respect to the other character, and (2) movement orientation, or the direction a character(More)
Issues related to concepts and categorization are nearly ubiquitous in psychology because of people’s natural tendency to perceive a thing as something. We have a powerful impulse to interpret our world. This act of interpretation, an act of “seeing something as X” rather than simply seeing it (Wittgenstein, 1953), is fundamentally an act of categorization.(More)
Memory for actions that are performed is substantially better than memory for descriptions of actions (e.g., Earles, 1996). In fact, people may form memories for actions even if they do not intend to or want to remember them. The directed forgetting paradigm was used to test the ability of younger and older adults to intentionally forget simple actions(More)
Three experiments revealed that memory for verbs is more dependent on semantic context than is memory for nouns. The participants in Experiment 1 were asked to remember either nouns or verbs from intransitive sentences. A recognition test included verbatim sentences, sentences with an old noun and a new verb, sentences with an old verb and a new noun, and(More)
Three experiments provide evidence that the conceptualization of moving objects and events is influenced by one's native language, consistent with linguistic relativity theory. Monolingual English speakers and bilingual Spanish/English speakers tested in an English-speaking context performed better than monolingual Spanish speakers and bilingual(More)
Two experiments provide evidence for an age-related deficit in the binding of actors with actions that is distinct from binding deficits associated with distraction or response pressure. Young and older adults viewed a series of actors performing different actions. Participants returned 1 week later for a recognition test. Older adults were more likely than(More)
An increase in task difficulty or time pressure during the performance of cognitive tasks decreased the ability of older adults to recall the tasks. In Experiments 1 and 2, adult age differences in recall of cognitive tasks were smaller for easier than for more difficult tasks, and, in Experiment 3, adult age differences were smaller for recall of cognitive(More)
This research provides evidence that there are 2 competing attentional mechanisms in category learning. Attentionai persistence directs attention to attributes previously found to be predictive, whereas attentional contrast directs attention to attribute values that have not already been associated with a category. Three experiments provided evidence for(More)