Young children update their trust in an informant's claim when experience tells them otherwise

Tone K. Hermansen, Samuel Ronfard, Paul L. Harris, Francisco Pons, Imac M. Zambrana
2021 Journal of Experimental Child Psychology  
Across two experiments, an adult informant presented 220 preschoolers (34-71 months of age) with either a correct claim or an incorrect claim about how to activate a music box by using one of two toy figures. Children were then prompted to explore the figures and to discover whether the informant's claim was correct or incorrect. Children who discovered the claim to be incorrect no longer endorsed it. Moreover, their predictions regarding a new figure's ability to activate the music box were
more » ... arly affected by the reliability of the informant's prior claim. Thus, children reassess an informant's incorrect claim about an object in light of later empirical evidence and transfer their conclusions regarding the validity of that claim to subsequent objects.
doi:10.1016/j.jecp.2020.105063 pmid:33493996 fatcat:2ibruij3zngzvmzke63b3ns7iq