A Semantic Congruity Effect in Children's Acquisition of High and Low

Brigette Oliver Ryalls, Emily Winslow, Linda B. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The Semantic Congruity Effect (SCE) is the finding that children and adults asked to compare pairs of objects drawn from a series perform better when the direction of comparison coincides with the location of the objects in the series. Experiment 1 confirmed that this effect is due to an understanding of the dimension words involved and not to general perceptual strategies by varying the words used to ask about the same stimuli (i.e.:higher/lowervsover/under). Experiment 2 examined children's understanding ofhigher/lowerand found that the SCE could be reduced or enhanced by altering the stimulus context. Theoretical explanations are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)543-557
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Memory and Language
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Artificial Intelligence


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