Infants use rational decision criteria for choosing among models of their input

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

38 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Previous work demonstrated that 9-month-olds who were familiarized with 3-syllable strings consistent with both a broader (AAB or ABA) and narrower (AAdi or AdiA) generalization made only the latter. Because the narrower generalization is a subset of the broader one, any example that is consistent with the broader generalization but not the narrower one should allow a rational learner to select the broader generalization. The current experiment asked whether infants show evidence of being such learners. Infants who heard the stimuli that previously led to the narrower generalization plus three counterexamples mixed into the last five stimuli made the broader generalization at test. A control condition ruled out the possibility that infants based their generalization on the last five familiarization stimuli. The new findings suggest that infants effectively consider multiple competing models for their input and use rational decision criteria for selecting among these models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)362-366
Number of pages5
JournalCognition
Volume115
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2010

Fingerprint

infant
stimulus
experiment
evidence
Stimulus

Keywords

  • Bayesian inference
  • Generalization
  • Infants
  • Rational learner

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Linguistics and Language
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

Cite this

Infants use rational decision criteria for choosing among models of their input. / Gerken, Louann.

In: Cognition, Vol. 115, No. 2, 05.2010, p. 362-366.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{553a121138d2493799df470abc8b9fb9,
title = "Infants use rational decision criteria for choosing among models of their input",
abstract = "Previous work demonstrated that 9-month-olds who were familiarized with 3-syllable strings consistent with both a broader (AAB or ABA) and narrower (AAdi or AdiA) generalization made only the latter. Because the narrower generalization is a subset of the broader one, any example that is consistent with the broader generalization but not the narrower one should allow a rational learner to select the broader generalization. The current experiment asked whether infants show evidence of being such learners. Infants who heard the stimuli that previously led to the narrower generalization plus three counterexamples mixed into the last five stimuli made the broader generalization at test. A control condition ruled out the possibility that infants based their generalization on the last five familiarization stimuli. The new findings suggest that infants effectively consider multiple competing models for their input and use rational decision criteria for selecting among these models.",
keywords = "Bayesian inference, Generalization, Infants, Rational learner",
author = "Louann Gerken",
year = "2010",
month = "5",
doi = "10.1016/j.cognition.2010.01.006",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "115",
pages = "362--366",
journal = "Cognition",
issn = "0010-0277",
publisher = "Elsevier",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Infants use rational decision criteria for choosing among models of their input

AU - Gerken, Louann

PY - 2010/5

Y1 - 2010/5

N2 - Previous work demonstrated that 9-month-olds who were familiarized with 3-syllable strings consistent with both a broader (AAB or ABA) and narrower (AAdi or AdiA) generalization made only the latter. Because the narrower generalization is a subset of the broader one, any example that is consistent with the broader generalization but not the narrower one should allow a rational learner to select the broader generalization. The current experiment asked whether infants show evidence of being such learners. Infants who heard the stimuli that previously led to the narrower generalization plus three counterexamples mixed into the last five stimuli made the broader generalization at test. A control condition ruled out the possibility that infants based their generalization on the last five familiarization stimuli. The new findings suggest that infants effectively consider multiple competing models for their input and use rational decision criteria for selecting among these models.

AB - Previous work demonstrated that 9-month-olds who were familiarized with 3-syllable strings consistent with both a broader (AAB or ABA) and narrower (AAdi or AdiA) generalization made only the latter. Because the narrower generalization is a subset of the broader one, any example that is consistent with the broader generalization but not the narrower one should allow a rational learner to select the broader generalization. The current experiment asked whether infants show evidence of being such learners. Infants who heard the stimuli that previously led to the narrower generalization plus three counterexamples mixed into the last five stimuli made the broader generalization at test. A control condition ruled out the possibility that infants based their generalization on the last five familiarization stimuli. The new findings suggest that infants effectively consider multiple competing models for their input and use rational decision criteria for selecting among these models.

KW - Bayesian inference

KW - Generalization

KW - Infants

KW - Rational learner

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=77649181580&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=77649181580&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.cognition.2010.01.006

DO - 10.1016/j.cognition.2010.01.006

M3 - Article

C2 - 20144828

AN - SCOPUS:77649181580

VL - 115

SP - 362

EP - 366

JO - Cognition

JF - Cognition

SN - 0010-0277

IS - 2

ER -