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ERIC Number: EJ1007422
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Mar
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 63
ISSN: ISSN-0012-1649
The Development of Children's Information Gathering: To Look or to Ask?
Fitneva, Stanka A.; Lam, Nietzsche H. L.; Dunfield, Kristen A.
Developmental Psychology, v49 n3 p533-542 Mar 2013
The testimony of others and direct experience play a major role in the development of children's knowledge. Children actively use questions to seek others' testimony and explore the environment. It is unclear though whether children distinguish when it is better to ask from when it is better to try to find an answer by oneself. In 2 experiments, we examined the ability of 4- and 6-year-olds to select between looking and asking to determine visible and invisible properties of entities (e.g., hair color vs. knowledge of French). All children chose to look more often for visible than invisible properties. However, only 6-year-olds chose above chance to look for visible properties and to ask for invisible properties. Four-year-olds showed a preference for looking in one experiment and asking in the other. The results suggest substantial development in the efficacy of children's learning in early childhood. (Contains 3 figures, 2 tables and 2 footnotes.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A