Home > Research > Publications & Outputs > Do multiple exemplars promote preschool childre...


Text available via DOI:

View graph of relations

Do multiple exemplars promote preschool children's retention and generalisation of words learned from pictures?

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

Article number101459
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>30/06/2024
<mark>Journal</mark>Cognitive Development
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date29/05/24
<mark>Original language</mark>English


We investigated whether preschool children's extension of labels from memory representations of pictures is enhanced by exposure to multiple exemplars during teaching. Neurotypical 2-year-olds (N = 23) and 3-year-olds (N = 19) mapped novel word-picture associations in a referent selection task. Their retention and generalisation of labels was then assessed after 5 min with depicted 3-D objects. During referent selection, children were presented with a single variant of each novel picture (single exemplar condition) or two differently coloured variants of each novel picture (multiple exemplars condition). Both age groups extended labels to similarly coloured objects with significantly greater accuracy when taught with multiple exemplars. Three-year-olds also generalised labels to differently coloured category members with significantly greater accuracy in the multiple exemplars condition, where they outperformed two-year-olds. We propose that comparing multiple pictures of to-be-learned referents strengthens encoding of category-defining shape, facilitating extension of labels to objects from memory.