Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




This study explored the prevalence of the shape bias in children when faced with multiple perceptual cues. Three-to six-year-olds were shown three-dimensional objects and two-dimensional representations of these objects, half of which had emotional faces depicted on them. Of interest was whether attention to emotion would alter children's bias towards the shape of the object and how dimensionality and instruction type would affect the children's choices. The older children were equally likely to use emotion matches as shape matches, but this was not the case for the younger children, who were almost exclusively focused on shape. The non-lexical instructions induced shape matches more than the lexical instructions. It was also found that the two-dimensional representations of the objects elicited shape choices more often than the actual three-dimensional objects, especially in the non-emotion conditions.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.