ERIC Number: EJ1032629
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 35
Children's Use of Social Cues When Learning Conventions
Wagner, Laura; Dunfield, Kristen A.; Rohrbeck, Kristin L.
Journal of Cognition and Development, v15 n3 p479-494 2014
In a series of two experiments, we examined 5-year-old children's motivations for learning new conventional actions. Children watched two teachers open a novel container; the teachers differed in the nonfunctional, conventional actions they used in the process. In Experiment 1, one teacher spoke with a native accent and the other spoke with a nonnative accent. Children showed a preference for following the native-accented teacher, and this preference was interpreted as a motivation to match an in-group member. In Experiment 2, the speech accent of the teacher was crossed with explicit expressions of (un)certainty by the teachers. In this case, children preferred the more certain teacher, even when the certain teacher spoke with a nonnative speech accent. This preference was taken as demonstrating a utilitarian motivation that led to choosing the teacher most likely to have useful information. Taken together, these results suggest that by 5 years of age, children are motivated by both utilitarian and in-group considerations when selecting between sources of information; however, when forced to select between the two motivations, utilitarian concerns take precedent.
Descriptors: Cues, Social Influences, Social Development, Novelty (Stimulus Dimension), Dialects, Familiarity, Films, Coding, Child Behavior, Scoring, Preferences, Young Children, Verbal Communication, Imitation
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A