Lead


Lay summary

explicitly and formallyTheaim of this proposed project is to investigate the interplay betweengrammar and stereotype in gender representation of role names inpre-school children (i.e., toddlers), well before learning grammatical gender. To ourknowledge, this project constitutes the first attempt to demonstratethat some relatively complex language processes are implicitlyacquired at a very young age. Ifthe results indicate only moderate effects of both grammar andstereotypicality, it would suggest that the mechanisms underinvestigation emerge only at a later stage. In fact, it may suggestthat the mechanisms under investigation may be the result of anexplicit learning process, opening interesting possibilities on thedifferent strategies to counter the biases found in previousresearch. Future research may therefore concentrate on the differentearly strategies to alter the anchoring factors at the base of mentalrepresentations of gender. If the results do indicate that themechanisms under investigation are due to implicit learning throughsimple exposition, future research may concentrate on the strategiesto counteract these implicit mechanisms. Thecurrent project is the first endeavour in the investigation of genderrepresentations by toddlers. It most crucially extends the existingcollaborations on adults’ representation to psychology laboratoriesinvestigating young infants.