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Re-examining children’s evidential reasoning: task relevance and evidential hierarchy

  • THE KOREAN JOURNAL OF DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY
  • 2020, 33(4), pp.65-79
  • DOI : 10.35574/KJDP.2020.12.33.4.65
  • Publisher : The Korean Society For Developmental Psychology
  • Research Area : Social Science > Psychological Science
  • Received : November 17, 2020
  • Accepted : December 2, 2020
  • Published : December 15, 2020

Jisoo Kim 1 Youngon Choi 2 Sujin Kim 1

1중앙대 심리학과
2중앙대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The ability to infer a speaker’s epistemic certainty based on the information source conveyed by evidential morphemes develops well into 6 years. However, 3–4-year-olds could accomplish this when the source was marked by lexical verbs, and 5-year-olds’ performance improved if the accuracy of the source of hearsay was available. The present study re-examined 5–6-year-olds’ evidential reasoning abilities when the choice of testimony is relevant to the child’s eventual gain and when three sources are contrasts simultaneously. We presented three animals’ testimony—each based on direct experience, inference from indirect evidence, and hearsay—to children and asked them to find a hidden sticker using the most reliable testimony. Six-year-olds, as well as 5-year-olds, could reliably select testimony based on direct experience, suggesting that evidential reasoning ability develops earlier than 6 years. Furthermore, children showed a tendency to trust hearsay over indirect evidence sources, showing the pattern of hierarchy different from proposed by general evidential hierarchy.

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