Jean-Pierre Thibaut: How children make sense of the world with categories and analogies. Cognitive and intercultural aspects.
How children make sense of their world is one of the key questions psychologists, linguists, anthropologists raised in the last decades. In the psychology arena, this has been translated in (thousands of) studies looking at how children find and use relevant dimensions and relations about objects and events in the world, that is how they conceptualize them. In the present talk, we will focus on two related capacities, centrally built on the notion of generalization, either generalization of novel words or of novel relations. We will first illustrate how psychologists study these questions and provide relevant data about development. These data encompass classical behavioral evidence but will also go beyond, with eye tracking data and machine learning techniques.
The second part of the talk will question the universality of cognitive processes. We will illustrate cultural differences in cognition in the domain of language, analogical reasoning. For example, it has been shown that Chinese and American children, in favor of Chinese children, reach the same level of expertise at different ages in analogical reasoning. Interpretations of these differences will be discussed.
Jean-Pierre Thibaut is Professor of developmental psychology at the University of Bourgogne, Dijon, France.
The discussant of Dr Thibaut is Dr Soonhyuck Park, Professor of linguistics at GUST.
GUST, Room N4 001