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Early tracking of informant accuracy and inaccuracy

By Kathleen H. Corriveau, Kerstin Meints and Paul L. Harris

Abstract

Three- and four-year-old children (N = 131) were tested for their sensitivity to the accuracy and inaccuracy of informants. Children were presented with one of three\ud conditions. In the Accurate–Inaccurate condition, one informant named objects accurately whereas the other named them inaccurately. In the Accurate–Neutral condition, one informant named objects accurately whereas the other merely drew attention to them. Finally in the Inaccurate–Neutral condition, one informant named objects inaccurately whereas the other merely drew attention to them. In subsequent\ud test trials, 4-year-olds preferred to seek and accept information in a selective fashion across all three conditions, suggesting that they monitor informants for both accuracy and inaccuracy. By contrast, 3-year-olds were selective in the Accurate–Inaccurate and Inaccurate–Neutral conditions but not in the Accurate–Neutral condition, suggesting that they monitor informants only for inaccuracy and take accuracy for granted

Topics: C800 Psychology, C820 Developmental Psychology
Publisher: The British Psychological Society
Year: 2009
DOI identifier: 10.1348/026151008X310229
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.lincoln.ac.uk:2807
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