A developmental study of schematic concept formation

Leona S. Aiken, Tannis M. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Studied the development of schematic concept formation in adults (n = 42) and in 1st, 3rd, and 5th graders (n = 42, 48, and 45, respectively). The task, based on the generation of 2 classes of complex patterns, required identifying the odd form in a set of 3 8-sided polygons. Problems were designed to be least, more, and most difficult. Accuracy improved slightly between the 3rd- and 5th-grade levels; but results generally indicate remarkable consistency across age in types of error, concept learning over time, and strategies used. In particular, Ss at all age levels used 2 types of pattern cue: the general similarity between pattern and prototype and some specific physical features unrelated to class membership. Neither type of cue alone was sufficient to account for performance. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)162-167
Number of pages6
JournalDevelopmental psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1973
Externally publishedYes


  • developmental differences, schematic concept formation, adults vs. 1st vs. 3rd vs. 5th graders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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