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ERIC Number: EJ1176078
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-May
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1467-7687
Selective Social Learning in Infancy: Looking for Mechanisms
Crivello, Cristina; Phillips, Sara; Poulin-Dubois, Diane
Developmental Science, v21 n3 May 2018
Although there is mounting evidence that selective social learning begins in infancy, the psychological mechanisms underlying this ability are currently a controversial issue. The purpose of this study is to investigate whether theory of mind abilities and statistical learning skills are related to infants' selective social learning. Seventy-seven 18-month-olds were first exposed to a reliable or an unreliable speaker and then completed a word learning task, two theory of mind tasks, and a statistical learning task. If domain-general abilities are linked to selective social learning, then infants who demonstrate superior performance on the statistical learning task should perform better on the selective learning task, that is, should be less likely to learn words from an unreliable speaker. Alternatively, if domain-specific abilities are involved, then superior performance on theory of mind tasks should be related to selective learning performance. Findings revealed that, as expected, infants were more likely to learn a novel word from a reliable speaker. Importantly, infants who passed a theory of mind task assessing knowledge attribution were significantly less likely to learn a novel word from an unreliable speaker compared to infants who failed this task. No such effect was observed for the other tasks. These results suggest that infants who possess superior social-cognitive abilities are more apt to reject an unreliable speaker as informant. A video abstract of this article can be viewed at:
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) (NIH)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: R01HD068458