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Title page for ETD etd-09042008-143734

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Somanader, Mark Chandran
Author's Email Address mark.c.somanader@gmail.com
URN etd-09042008-143734
Title Children use appearance and origin of motion to categorize robots
Degree Master of Science
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Daniel Levin Committee Member
Georgene Troseth Committee Member
Megan Saylor Committee Member
  • categorization
  • children
  • Robots
  • Categorization (Psychology) in children
Date of Defense 2008-08-14
Availability unrestricted
In this study, preschool children were shown one of three kinds of robots that differed in their similarity to a living thing. We then asked preschool children about the psychological, biological, and mechanical properties of the robot. Children changed their attributions of psychological properties by showing increasing their yes responses to questions about psychological properties as the robot engaged in behavior that was more like a living thing. Their levels of biological and mechanical attributions remained stable across conditions. Additionally, a developmental difference was found in which 4-year-olds mixed properties of living and non-living things in making attributions about non-living entities more than 5-year-olds did. Implications for children’s essentialist reasoning about artifacts and general categorization abilities are discussed.
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