03 December 2007

Ideas are good virtues

Kinda makes you want to do research with kids:
E: What sort of thing is time?
C: It’s something that you can’t see. Like my mom gets up in the
morning and she just knows what time it is. And she looks at the clock, something like that.
E: What is an idea?
C: It’s something that you think or that you know. It’s kinda like a virus, but it’s not bad. It’s good.
The children were invited to participate in a storytelling game, and introduced to two puppets (Elmo and Cookie Monster) that would help them answer questions. The experimenter ran three test trials to show how the puppets would help; these trials also served as a screening task. In the test trial, the experimenter presented the child with a solid-colored ball and asked the puppets the color of the ball. Each puppet produced a different color label (The ball is red vs. The ball is green), and one of the labels matched the color of the ball. The child was then asked to choose the puppet with the correct answer. The task was repeated three times with differently colored balls, and children who chose the puppet with the correct label at least twice continued the study. Only two 4-year-old children failed the task. Data were gathered from two more children—one per language—to replace these two children.
From "Metaphors We Move By: Children’s Developing Understanding of Metaphorical Motion in Typologically Distinct Languages" in Metaphor and Symbol 22 (2), by Seyda Özçalkan