Integrating Physical Constraints in Statistical Inference by 11-Month-Old Infants

Cognitive Science 34 (5):885-908 (2010)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Much research on cognitive development focuses either on early-emerging domain-specific knowledge or domain-general learning mechanisms. However, little research examines how these sources of knowledge interact. Previous research suggests that young infants can make inferences from samples to populations (Xu & Garcia, 2008) and 11- to 12.5-month-old infants can integrate psychological and physical knowledge in probabilistic reasoning (Teglas, Girotto, Gonzalez, & Bonatti, 2007; Xu & Denison, 2009). Here, we ask whether infants can integrate a physical constraint of immobility into a statistical inference mechanism. Results from three experiments suggest that, first, infants were able to use domain-specific knowledge to override statistical information, reasoning that sometimes a physical constraint is more informative than probabilistic information. Second, we provide the first evidence that infants are capable of applying domain-specific knowledge in probabilistic reasoning by using a physical constraint to exclude one set of objects while computing probabilities over the remaining sets



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 83,878

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library


Added to PP

70 (#190,666)

6 months
1 (#503,386)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?