Causal Reasoning

Infants are able to perceive causal links between entities (Leslie & Keeble, 1987), but the causal reasoning of older children seems to be influenced by complexity (Brooks, Hanauer, & Frye, 2001; Frye et al., 1996) or by concept availability (Ackerman, Silver, & Glickman, 1990). The explanation may be that, as Leslie and Keeble (1987) suggest, the causal recognitions of infants are based on a modular process that is essentially perceptual. Modular processes are not typically influenced by cognitive complexity. The causal reasoning of older children probably depends on more conceptual or symbolic processes (Schlottman, 2001).

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