What do two-year-olds know about the sizes of things?

M. D. Sera, D. Troyer, L. B. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Knowledge about the sizes of things is an integral part of object concepts. In 5 experiments, we examined 2-, 3-, 4-year-olds' and adults' internalized representations of the sizes of buttons, plates, and shoes. We found that 3- and 4-year-olds had accurate knowledge of the typical sizes of buttons and plates. 2-year-olds' knowledge of plate and button sizes was more fragile; however, they demonstrated accurate internal representations of the sizes of shoes. The studies provide new empirical evidence about the young child's knowledge of the sizes of 3 everyday objects. The findings also suggest that the size of an object may be more accurately represented if its size is highly relevant for the object's intended function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1489-1496
Number of pages8
JournalChild development
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1988
Externally publishedYes


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