Wednesday, June 27, 2012

L’été des enfants, 2ième partie

Hello Friends,

This post will be in English.

I am finding that I have a lot of time on my hands. As such, I am writing another blog post. This is to give me a break from reading things (including many papers).  Starting with the next paragraph, this blog post reads pretty much like a very bad paper.

As anyone who has worked with kids knows, kids are not adults.  The importance of this, as is relevant to this blog post, is that they are silly and say silly things.  Some of their silliness has been documented by SWHallee in his paper “L’été des enfants, 1ère partie” (2012).  We will expound upon this silliness in this paper, including by contrasting their abilities to identify stuffed animals and animal toys to the abilities of one of the experimenters to do the same.

In one experiment, children and experimenters are shown two stuffed animals, four animal toys, and one puppet.  At the beginning of the experiment, the child is asked to name each of the animals at least once, prompted with questions such as, “What type of animal is this?”  During the experiment, the experimenter is required to identify each animal several times with very little time in between trials. A trial for the experimenter consists of picking up an animal, and reciting the appropriate dialogue associated with that animal and time point, after tagging the line with the phrase “[Animal name] says.”

In Figures 1 and 2 below, the performances of the children and the experimenter are shown graphically.  A blue box indicates the name of an animal (toy) that is actually presented in the experiment. A red box indicates an animal that is not present. The yellow box represents an answer of “I don’t know.” The arrows in the figure point from the target animal (the presented animal) to the response given.  Each blue box should be assumed to have an arrow originating from and pointing to itself.
Figure 1

Figure 2
Other relevant information includes the following:
  • The dog has spots.
  • The kangaroo has relatively large, pointed ears that stick up.
  • The cow is spotted and has no ears (they have been ripped off).
  • The horse is really odd-looking.

From these data, one can conclude the following:
  •  It is difficult for some children to name animals that cannot be found on a farm, or do not have distinct onomatopoeia (or animal sounds) attached to them (see: Giraffe and Kangaroo).
  •  It is difficult for some children to identify toys that bear little resemblance to the animal that they represent (see: Cow and Horse)
  •  It is difficult for the experimenter to go for two hours at a time switching from one animal to another without making some slip-ups.

 I have many more things to write about … so there will hopefully be more posts from me.

In the meantime …

Love and animals,

1 comment:

  1. I want to see these toys... the horse and cow specifically.