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Children learn smart behaviors without knowing what they know
Date:6/16/2008

out the rule or know how to use it.

Sloutsky said children in the experiments didn't know the rules, but simply used associative learning they figured out that in certain areas of the computer screen, they were better off choosing by shape, and in other areas by color.

"Children developed a running statistic about where they should choose color and where they should choose shape," he said.

This type of learning goes on all the time with children, Sloutsky explained. For example, children learn that larger animals are generally stronger and more powerful than smaller animals, even though they know nothing about the biological reasons behind this.

The findings have implications for theories of how children learn and develop their cognitive abilities, he said.

"Children learn implicitly. They don't need complex conceptual knowledge to show evidence of smart, flexible behavior."


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Contact: Vladimir Sloutsky
Sloutsky.1@osu.edu
614-688-5855
Ohio State University
Source:Eurekalert

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