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Causal CognitionA Multidisciplinary Debate$
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Dan Sperber, David Premack, and Ann James Premack

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198524021

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198524021.001.0001

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The acquisition of physical knowledge in infancy

The acquisition of physical knowledge in infancy

Chapter:
(p.79) 4 The acquisition of physical knowledge in infancy
Source:
Causal Cognition
Author(s):

Renee Baillargeon

Laura Kotovsky

Amy Needham

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198524021.003.0004

This chapter focuses on the role causality play in the development of infants' reasoning. When learning about a physical phenomenon, infants first form a preliminary all-or-nothing concept that captures the essence of the phenomenon but few of its details. In time, this initial concept is progressively elaborated. Infants slowly identify discrete and continuous variable that are relevant to the phenomenon and incorporate this accrued knowledge into their reasoning, resulting in increasingly accurate interpretations and predictions over time. This chapter illustrates the distinction between initial concepts and variables by analyzing experiments on the development of young infants' reasoning about support, collision, and unveiling phenomena.

Keywords:   causality, infants, reasoning, support, collision, phenomena

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