You’ve probably also noticed that infants love to observe the people in their world, and learn from them rapidly! In our lab, we have been interested in how infants and young children begin to form categories of people. For example, how do they first come to notice social categories based on gender (male; female) or even race (Caucasian, Asian, Black)? How does language influence their formation of social categories? We pursue these questions with both infants and preschool-aged children, asking:
(1) How do the names we use to refer to social categories (e.g., boys, women, White) influence the categories that infants and young children form?
(2) What is the role of experience in the development of social categories and even social preferences?