ERIC Number: EJ1039335
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
"Why Does Rain Fall?": Children Prefer to Learn from an Informant Who Uses Noncircular Explanations
Corriveau, Kathleen H.; Kurkul, Katelyn E.
Child Development, v85 n5 p1827-1835 Sep-Oct 2014
These two studies explored 3- and 5-year-olds' evaluation of noncircular and circular explanations, and their use of such explanations to determine informant credibility. Although 5-year-olds demonstrated a selective preference for noncircular over circular explanations (Experiment 1: Long Explanations; Experiment 2: Short Explanations), 3-year-olds only demonstrated a preference for the noncircular when the explanations were shortened (Experiment 2). Children's evaluation of the explanations extended to their inferences about the informants' future credibility. Both age groups demonstrated a selective preference for learning novel explanations from an informant who had previously provided noncircular explanations--although only 5-year-olds also preferred to learn novel labels from her. The implications and scope of children's ability to monitor the quality of an informant's explanation are discussed.
Descriptors: Young Children, Thinking Skills, Preferences, Evaluative Thinking, Persuasive Discourse, Credibility, Experiments
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
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