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The effect of shyness on children's formation and retention of novel word–object mappings

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>11/2017
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Child Language
Issue number6
Number of pages19
Pages (from-to)1394-1412
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date5/12/16
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This study set out to examine whether shyness, an aversion to novelty and unfamiliar social situations, can affect the processes that underlie early word learning. Twenty-four-month-old children (n =32) were presented with sets of one novel and two familiar objects, and it was found that shyer children were less likely to select a novel object as the referent of a novel label. Furthermore, not-shy children then showed evidence of retaining these novel mappings, but shy children did not. These findings suggest that shy children's aversion to novelty and to the unfamiliar context can impact on their word learning.