We argue that, amongst 3- to 5- year-olds, failure to report the source of knowledge recently acquired in answer to “How do you know…?” is due to a specific failure to make a causal inference, in line with source monitoring theory but not fuzzy trace theory. In three Experiments, children (N = 37; 30; 59) identified a hidden toy by seeing, feeling, or by being told, having had two modes of access on each trial, one informative (e.g. seeing a toy identified by colour) and the other uninformative (e.g. being told the toy’s colour by the Experimenter who had only felt it). Children who answered the know question wrongly nevertheless reported accurately who saw and who felt the toy, and what the well-informed player had said. They also realised when\ud the Experimenter’s uninformative access implied their own knowledge was unreliable, suggesting precocious working understanding of knowledge sources
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