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- PublicationAccès libreThe boss is always right: Preschoolers endorse the testimony of a dominant over that of a subordinate
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- PublicationAccès libreRules Trump Desires in Preschoolers' Predictions of Group Behavior
- PublicationAccès libreWishful Thinking in PreschoolersThe current experiment sought to demonstrate the presence of wishful thinking—when wishes influence beliefs—in young children. A sample of 77 preschoolers needed to predict, eight times in a row, which of two plastic eggs, one containing one toy and the other containing three toys, would be drawn by a blinded experimenter. On the four trials in which the children could not keep the content of the egg drawn, they were equally likely to predict that either egg would be drawn. By contrast, on the four trials in which the children got to keep the content of the egg, they were more likely to predict that the egg with three toys would be drawn. Any effort the children exerted would be the same across condi- tions, so that this demonstration of wishful thinking cannot be accounted for by an effort heuristic. One group of children—a sub- group of the 5-year-olds—did not engage in wishful thinking. Children from this subgroup instead used the representativeness heuristic to guide their answers. This result suggests that having an explicit representation of the outcome inhibits children from engaging in wishful thinking in the same way as explicit representations constrain the operation of motivated reasoning in adults.
- PublicationAccès libreProcedural Metacognition and False Belief Understanding in 3- to 5-year-old ChildrenSome studies, so far limited in number, suggest the existence of procedural metacognition in young children, that is, the practical capacity to monitor and control one’s own cognitive activity in a given task. The link between procedural metacognition and false belief understanding is currently under theoretical discussion. If data with primates seem to indicate that procedural metacognition and false belief understanding are not related, no study in developmental psychology has investigated this relation in young children. The present paper aims, first, to supplement the findings concerning young children’s abilities to monitor and control their uncertainty (procedural metacognition) and, second, to explore the relation between procedural metacognition and false belief understanding. To examine this, 82 3- to 5-year-old children were presented with an opt-out task and with 3 false belief tasks. Results show that children can rely on procedural metacognition to evaluate their perceptual access to information, and that success in false belief tasks does not seem related to success in the task we used to evaluate procedural metacognition. These results are coherent with a procedural view of metacognition, and are discussed in the light of recent data from primatology and developmental psychology.
- PublicationAccès libreChildren Weigh the Number of Informants and Perceptual Uncertainty When Identifying Objects
- PublicationAccès libreThe medium helps the message: Early sensitivity to auditory fluency in children's endorsement of statementsRecently, 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.
- PublicationAccès libreRousseau's Child : Preschoolers Expect Strangers to Favor Prosocial Actions
- PublicationAccès libreEarly sensitivity to arguments: How preschoolers weight circular argumentsObservational studies suggest that children as young as 2 years can evaluate some of the arguments people offer them. However, experimental studies of sensitivity to different arguments have not yet targeted children younger than 5 years. The current study aimed at bridging this gap by testing the ability of preschoolers (3-, 4-, and 5-year-olds) to weight arguments. To do so, it focused on a common type of fallacy?circularity?to which 5-year-olds are sensitive. The current experiment asked children?and, as a group control, adults?to choose between the contradictory opinions of two speakers. In the first task, participants of all age groups favored an opinion supported by a strong argument over an opinion supported by a circular argument. In the second task, 4- and 5-year-olds, but not 3-year-olds or adults, favored the opinion supported by a circular argument over an unsupported opinion. We suggest that the results of these tasks in 3- to 5-year-olds are best interpreted as resulting from the combination of two mechanisms: (a) basic skills of argument evaluations that process the content of arguments, allowing children as young as 3 years to favor non-circular arguments over circular arguments, and (b) a heuristic that leads older children (4- and 5-year-olds) to give some weight to circular arguments, possibly by interpreting these arguments as a cue to speaker dominance.
- PublicationAccès libreEmotional expression and vocabulary learning in adults and childrenA great deal of what we know about the world has not been learned via first-hand observation but thanks to others? testimony. A crucial issue is to know which kind of cues people use to evaluate information provided by others. In this context, recent studies in adults and children underline that informants? facial expressions could play an essential role. To test the importance of the other?s emotions in vocabulary learning, we used two avatars expressing happiness, anger or neutral emotions when proposing different verbal labels for an unknown object. Experiment 1 revealed that adult participants were significantly more likely than chance to choose the label suggested by the avatar displaying a happy face over the label suggested by the avatar displaying an angry face. Experiment 2 extended these results by showing that both adults and children as young as 3 years old showed this effect. These data suggest that decision making concerning newly acquired information depends on informant?s expressions of emotions, a finding that is consistent with the idea that behavioural intents have facial signatures that can be used to detect another?s intention to cooperate.