We investigated whether category-based induction can be enhanced through educational activities with real-life animals. Four induction tasks involving pictures of real and novel biological kinds were administered to 252 children aged 5- to 7- years, split across two testing sessions. Between these two testing sessions, 129 of these children took part in a zoo-based educational activity where their attention was directed towards the importance of non-obvious category features. In the first testing session, older children made significantly more category inferences, consistent with developmental accounts of category-based induction. In the second testing session, there was a greater increase in category-based induction decisions made by children in the training condition. We suggest that category-based induction could be driven by an accumulation of category knowledge which leads to a deeper understanding of the importance of category features.
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- Child development