Hierarchical semantic organization in 6-year-olds

Esther R. Steinberg, Richard C. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fifty-eight first graders saw eight pictures of things familiar to them. Subsequently they attempted to recall each picture given as retrieval cues the corresponding noun and four other words. Each set of cue words mapped onto a tree-like, class-inclusion structure. Five predictions based on a model of semantic distance in the structure were confirmed. Contrary to what might have been expected from previous research, the results suggest that class-inclusion hierarchies can serve as the functional basis for retrieving information in children as young as 6 years old.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)544-553
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Experimental Child Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1975

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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