Metacognitive developments in word learning: Mutual exclusivity and theory of mind

Gollek, Cornelia and Doherty, Martin ORCID: (2016) Metacognitive developments in word learning: Mutual exclusivity and theory of mind. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 148. pp. 51-69. ISSN 0022-0965

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This study examines the flexibility with which children can use pragmatic information to determine word reference. Extensive previous research shows that children choose an unfamiliar object as referent of a novel name: the disambiguation effect. We added a pragmatic cue indirectly indicating a familiar object as intended referent. In three experiments, preschool children’s ability to take this cue into account was specifically associated with false belief understanding and the ability to produce familiar alternative names (e.g., rabbit, animal) for a given referent. The association was predicted by the hypothesis that all three tasks require an understanding of perspective (linguistic or mental). The findings indicate that perspectival understanding is required to take into account indirect pragmatic information to suspend the disambiguation effect. Implications for lexical principles and socio-pragmatic theories of word learning are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: word learning,mutual exclusivity bias,disambiguation effect,theory of mind,metacognition
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Psychology
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Developmental Science
Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > UEA Experimental Philosophy Group
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2016 09:37
Last Modified: 19 Jun 2023 10:31
DOI: 10.1016/j.jecp.2016.03.007


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