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Four- to 6-year-old children's sensitivity to reliability versus consensus in the endorsement of object labels

2015-3-23, Bernard, Stephane, Proust, Joëlle, Clément, Fabrice

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The medium helps the message: Early sensitivity to auditory fluency in children's endorsement of statements

2014-12-4, Bernard, Stephane, Proust, Joëlle, Clément, Fabrice

Recently, a growing number of studies have investigated the cues used by children to selectively accept testimony. In parallel, several studies with adults have shown that the fluency with which information is provided influences message evaluation: adults evaluate fluent information as more credible than dysfluent information. It is therefore plausible that the fluency of a message could also influence children’s endorsement of statements. Three experiments were designed to test this hypothesis with 3- to 5-year-olds where the auditory fluency of a message was manipulated by adding different levels of noise to recorded statements. The results show that 4 and 5-year-old children, but not 3-year-olds, are more likely to endorse a fluent statement than a dysfluent one. The present study constitutes a first attempt to show that fluency, i.e., ease of processing, is recruited as a cue to guide epistemic decision in children. An interpretation of the age difference based on the way cues are processed by younger children is suggested.