Relational Language Improves Preschool Children’s Performance of Analogical Reasoning
The current study explored how relational language influenced the analogical reasoning among preschool children in China. Children (aged 4.5 and 5.5) in Experiment 1 were asked to complete a cross-mapped task where the object match competed with the relational match. The ANOVA results showed that the performance of both 4.5-year-olds and 4.5-year-olds were significantly improved after they heard Relational Language, F (1, 68) =44.821, p<0.05, η²=0.40. In Experiment 2, different distractors were added to the cross-mapped task and the 5.5-year-olds were replaced by 3.5 year-olds. The results demonstrated that the facilitating effect of Relational Language still existed among the youngest children and the performance of 4.5-year-olds was better than the 3.5-year-olds, F(1, 68)=6.76, p<0.05, η²=0.09. Furthermore, both age groups performed the worst under the distractor condition, indicating that the distractors made analogical reasoning more difficult, especially for the youngest children. Taken together, the current findings suggested that the facilitating effects of relational language in relational reasoning could also be observed in a broader sample.