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Children are judicious social learners. They may be particularly sensitive to communicative actions done pedagogically for their benefit, as such actions may mark important, generalizable information. Three experiments (N = 224) found striking differences in preschoolers' inductive generalization and exploration of a novel functional property, depending on(More)
Pictures are referential in that they can represent objects in the real world. Here we explore the emergence of understanding of the referential potential of pictures during the second year of life. In Study 1, 15-, 18-, and 24-month-olds learned a word for a picture of a novel object (e.g., "blicket") in the context of a picture book interaction. Later(More)
Collaborating on challenging endeavors is a foundation of human society. Recent research suggests that young children are not only motivated to cooperate with others-for instance, to help others accomplish their goals-but may also be motivated to collaborate with others-to pursue shared goals. However, a primary reason why collaboration is so important is(More)
In constructing a conceptual understanding of the world, children must actively evaluate what information is idiosyncratic or superficial, and what represents essential, defining information about kinds and categories. Preschoolers observed identical evidence about a novel object's function (magnetism) produced in subtly different manners: accidentally,(More)
A hallmark of human cognition is the ability to learn from others—both via language and via non-linguistic cues. Children are sensitive to actions done for their benefit, treating pedagogical acts as conveying important information (Csibra & Gergely, 2009). The current research tapped children's exploration to investigate whether seeing a causal property(More)
Human social life depends heavily on social norms that prescribe and proscribe specific actions. Typically, young children learn social norms from adult instruction. In the work reported here, we showed that this is not the whole story: Three-year-old children are promiscuous normativists. In other words, they spontaneously inferred the presence of social(More)
Young children can in principle make generic inferences (e.g., "doffels are magnetic") on the basis of their own individual experience. Recent evidence, however, shows that by 4 years of age children make strong generic inferences on the basis of a single pedagogical demonstration with an individual (e.g., an adult demonstrates for the child that a single(More)
Evaluating whether information is generalizable, essential knowledge about a novel category is a critical component of conceptual development. In previous work (Butler & Markman, 2012) 4-year-old children were able to use their understanding of whether information was explicitly communicated for their benefit to guide such reasoning, while 3-year-olds were(More)
Young children understand pedagogical demonstrations as conveying generic, kind-relevant information. But, in some contexts, they also see almost any confident, intentional action on a novel artefact as normative and thus generic, regardless of whether this action was pedagogically demonstrated for them. Thus, although pedagogy may not be necessary for(More)
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