Isolating the Effect of Naps on Verb-Generalization in 3 Year-Olds
AuthorWhiteside, Kelsey Kristin
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractResearch has shown that young children tend to pay more attention to objects than to the motions of or relationships between objects, and in order to get past this tendency, children need to see the verb performed multiple times by the same exemplars. This suggests that children are limited in their ability to generalize upon first learning a verb. Given research that sleep promotes generalization, this study investigates the role of napping in verb-generalization of three year olds. In Experiment 1 participants were trained on new verbs and tested on generalization immediately, and in Experiment 2 participants were trained on verbs and tested after a 4.5 hour delay which included a nap. Participants in Experiment 1 did not generalize the verbs at significantly higher-than-chance score. Participants in Experiment 2 also did not generalize the verbs at a significantly higher-than-chance score, but the mean approached significance and possibly created a trend with previously reported data. Compared with previous studies, these results indicate that (1) sleep plays an active role in verb-generalization and (2) verb-generalization may be the result of a combination of nap and nighttime sleep.
Degree ProgramHonors College