RESEARCH

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Most previous research on categories and concepts has focused on their descriptive power--how categories convey what their members are like. In this line of research, I have found that many important categories also carry prescriptive weight--information about how category members should be--and these category norms are especially important for young children's concepts.

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This line of research focuses on how cultural input, specifically linguistic experience, shapes conceptual development. For example, generic language (e.g., "ducks lay eggs," "girls hate math") shapes beliefs about category structure. I study the mechanisms through which generics have these effects.

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