DRAWING CONCLUSIONS ABOUT CATEGORIZATION: INTEGRATING PERCEPTUAL AND CONCEPTUAL PROCESSES IN NAMING
The debate on perceptual versus conceptual accounts of childrenï¿½s categorization is still very much at the forefront of recent work in early noun generalization. We examined the integration of perceptual and conceptual information in two experiments with 3-and 4-year-old children that use naming tasks previously claimed by Bloom and Markson (1998) to rely on conceptual information. We found that childrenï¿½s naming of ambiguous pictorial representations was highly influenced by small manipulations of perceptual information; thus demonstrating that childrenï¿½s performance always reflects the integration of perceptual and conceptual information. We argue that the data fit best with a view of early categorization as based on a system in which perceptual and conceptual information are fully integrated and co-developing.
KEYWORDS: category development, pictorial stimuli, intention, naming, categorization.