Categorical effects in children's colour search: a cross-linguistic comparison

Daoutis, Christine A, Franklin, Anna, Riddett, Amy, Clifford, Alexandra and Davies, Ian R L (2010) Categorical effects in children's colour search: a cross-linguistic comparison. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 24 (2). pp. 373-400. ISSN 0261-510X

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In adults, visual search for a colour target is facilitated if the target and distractors fall in
different colour categories (e.g. Daoutis, Pilling, & Davies, in press). The present study
explored category effects in children’s colour search. The relationship between
linguistic colour categories and perceptual categories was addressed by comparing
native speakers of languages differing in the number of colour terms. Experiment 1
compared English and Kwanyama (Namibian) children aged 4 to 7 years on a visual
search task, using target-distractor pairs (blue-green, blue-purple, red-pink) for which
the Kwanyama did not have distinct names. The presence of a category advantage in the
English, but not in the Kwanyama, suggested that linguistic boundaries may affect search
performance. Experiment 2 examined visual search performance in the green-yellow
and the blue-green region, in English and Himba (Namibian) 6-year-olds. The number of
distractors was varied to assess search efficiency. Cross-category search was more
efficient than within-category search in the English group, but this advantage was absent
in the Himba. Increasing the number of distractors affected search speed in the English
group, but not in the Himba. Overall, these findings suggest cross-language differences
in categorical effects on colour search, but also in the way the children performed the
search. The nature of the category effect in search is discussed with respect to these

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Depositing User: Anna Franklin
Date Deposited: 18 Jun 2014 10:40
Last Modified: 18 Jun 2014 10:40
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