Kids Name the Darnedest Animals

Here’s an experiment that’s easy to do on your own. Grab the nearest elementary- or middle-school-age kid, sit her down in a quiet place, and ask her to name everything she can think of that’s alive. The results might tell you a lot about your young subject’s life. The wilder the animals, the more domestic the kid.

The 5-to-14-year-olds in Andrea Taverna and Sandra Waxman’s version of this experiment lived in Argentina. (Taverna is a researcher at Argentina’s National Research Council; Wa

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