Labeling, attention and perception, a developmental study.

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96 7- and 9-yr.-olds were under four experimental conditions. A "distinctive label" group (n = 24) associated four different gender-cued labels with four infants' faces. An "equivalent label" group (m = 24) associated only two of these labels. There were also two no-label groups (ns = 24), "differential perception" and "perception." In the former, perceptual cues were provided; no cues were provided in the latter. The main measure was a test of perception. 9-yr.-olds were not affected by the labels, 7-yr.-olds were but more significantly so during initial trials. It is proposed that perception is affected by labels, learning, and selective attention. These effects are determined developmentally. As age increases the effects of verbal cues diminish and of perceptual cues increase. The findings are related to cross-cultural data, indicating that Israeli toddlers classify according to gender earlier than do American children. This is probably because Hebrew more than English contains distinctive linguistic cues related to sex.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-59
Number of pages13
JournalPerceptual and Motor Skills
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 1979

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Sensory Systems


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