Reasoning by Exclusion and Language Acquisition
- Andreia Schmidt -
University of Sao Paulo, Brazil
Reasoning by exclusion is an emergent behavior that has been investigated in different animal species and, in the last few decades, related to children's acquisition of vocabulary. Generally, reasoning by exclusion has been defined as choosing a correct alternative by logically excluding other available options. Experimental models that test exclusion behavior involve simple discrimination tasks as well as conditional discrimination. This type of behavior, observed in different animal species, is a robust phenomenon in humans of different ages, including children younger than one. The objective of this presentation is to briefly review studies on reasoning by exclusion in some non-human animal species and present a perspective of research on children's vocabulary acquisition, involving exclusion behavior. These studies show the prompt learning of nouns, verbs, and adjectives, in natural as well as experimental situations. I intend to discuss the role of reasoning by exclusion in learning language and its interaction with other possible processes.