Positive Parenting: How Babies Learn With Labels

Today babies are teaching scientists.

At 12 months, most babies know and understand about 50 words. Scientists are trying to figure out how their brains categorize the information they see and hear.

Now a new study from Northwestern University offers some insight.

Researchers showed babies a category of invented creatures.

All the babies saw six creatures, but the researchers tested different ways of telling the infants what the creature was called.

Results showed labeling a creature only the first two times helped the babies successfully learn about the creatures’ category.

Scientists say this study could offer parents insight on how to help their baby categorize and label things.

For instance, you can say “look it’s a cat” the first few times the baby sees it.

Another time you can say “look, it’s furry” to help baby learn textures.

Another time you can say, “look it’s meowing” to help baby learn animal sounds.

In this study, researchers measured whether the babies learned the creatures’ category by showing them a new creature to see how long they stared at each.

Previous research has shown babies will stare longer at a new object.

So babies take all this information and learn as they encounter more things in their world.

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