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Children's scale errors: A by-product of lexical development?

Grzyb, BJ; Cangelosi, A; Cattani, A; Floccia, C; (2019) Children's scale errors: A by-product of lexical development? Developmental Science , 22 (2) , Article e12741. 10.1111/desc.12741. Green open access

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Abstract

Scale errors occur when young children seriously attempt to perform an action on an object which is impossible due to its size. Children vary substantially in the incidence of scale errors with many factors potentially contributing to these differences, such as age and the type of scale errors. In particular, the evidence for an inverted U-shaped curve of scale errors involving the child's body (i.e., body scale errors), which would point to a developmental stage, is mixed. Here we re-examine how body scale errors vary with age and explore the possibility that these errors would be related to the size and properties of children's lexicon. A large sample of children aged 18 to 30 months (N = 125) was tested in a scale error elicitation situation. Additionally, parental questionnaires were collected to assess children's receptive and expressive lexicon. Our key findings are that scale errors linearly decrease with age in childhood, and are more likely to be found in early talkers rather than in less advanced ones. This suggests that scale errors do not correspond to a developmental stage, and that one determinant of these errors is the speed of development of the linguistic and conceptual system, as a potential explanation for the individual variability in prevalence. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Type: Article
Title: Children's scale errors: A by-product of lexical development?
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/desc.12741
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/desc.12741
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: conceptual development, early talkers, lexical development, object representation, scale errors
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Experimental Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10056286
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