Objective: Taxonomic categorization plays an important role in the cognition development and language learning of children. This study aimed to analyze and compare the trend in the superordinate categorization in typical children across age, gender and type of superordinate categories.
Method: A total of 226 typically developing Kannada speaking children between the ages of 2 to 4 years served as participants of this study and were tested in individual set up. After providing 3 practice trials, a total of 122 items were presented and children were asked to assign or categorize each item under 11 categories which were indicated with referent pictures on a stimulus board. The responses of the children were rated on a 4 point rating scale.
Results: Results revealed a developmental trend in typical children between 2 to 4 years for superordinate categorization. The performance of children between >2.0 to <2.6 years was poorer compared to other age groups in general. There was no ceiling effect observed in any of the age groups, even in children between >3.6 to <4.0 years. Effect of gender was not observed in all the age groups and on all the superordinate categories. There was no significant difference in the performance of children between natural categories and artifacts across age and gender.
Conclusion: The task for superordinate categorization in typical Kannada speaking children between 2 to 4 years showed a developmental trend indicating that superordinate categorization evolves with age and may continue after four years of age. The performance of children was not significantly different on natural categories and artifacts and this suggests that the children were capable of identifying perceptual and functional/contextual similarities and this could have probably helped in the categorization task, although they are differently used as a function of context and circumstances.