Variability in ontological knowledge and its relationship to intelligence.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis study examined children's performance on a decontextualization task requiring the ability to deduce the meaning of unknown words from verbal context and their ontological knowledge structure as indicated by their judgments about both anomalous and sensible statements containing the unknown words. A comparison was made between performance on the decontextualization task and verbal and nonverbal ability and between the subjects' ontological knowledge structures and verbal and nonverbal ability. It was hypothesized that performance on the decontextualization tasks would be positively correlated with both ability measures, but ontological knowledge structure would remain constant across ability levels. First, third and fifth grade subjects' participated in the study. Performance on the decontextualization task correlated positively with verbal ability for all three grade level and with nonverbal ability for grade one. Presence of the M-constraint (Keil, 1979) was evident across ability levels as well as grade levels. Greater differentiation in ontological knowledge was indicated across grade levels but not across ability levels within a grade level. Results supported previous research of Keil (1979, 1983a, 1983b).
Degree ProgramEducational Foundations and Administration