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Three and Four Year-olds’ Use of Observation Experience in Judging an Informant’s Accuracy

  • THE KOREAN JOURNAL OF DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY
  • 2011, 24(4), pp.151-162
  • Publisher : The Korean Society For Developmental Psychology
  • Research Area : Social Science > Psychological Science

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ABSTRACT

Three-year-old children have a robust bias to trust adult’s testimony, even after they witnessed what actually happened, and that the adult’s testimony was incorrect. By contrast, children older than 4 years do not show such bias to trust other’s testimony as soon as they realize that the informant provided wrong information. Resent studies suggest, however, that 3-year-olds can overcome this bias when they have a direct experience about the accuracy of information provided by a particular informant. In the present study, we investigated whether 3-year-olds can utilize indirect experience (observing others’ interactions as a third person) about potential informants with whom they have to directly interact with later. Three- to four-year-olds first observed two potential adult informants’ interaction under a sticker-finding game situation, and then were asked to play the same game with one of the informants. The results showed that even 3-year-olds can track an informant’s (in)accuracy during observation and use such experience to determine who they can trust versus not.

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