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ERIC Number: EJ1177245
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 28
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1524-8372
Child Decision-Making: On the Burden of Predecisional Information Search
Lindow, Stefanie; Betsch, Tilmann
Journal of Cognition and Development, v19 n2 p137-164 2018
In many decision situations, individuals must actively search information before they can make a satisfying choice. In such instances, individuals must be aware of the fact that not all information may be equally relevant for the choice at hand--thus, individuals should weight information by its respective relevance. We compared children's and adult's decision-making in a child-friendly decision game. For each decision, participants received information on the content of 3 piggy banks on an information-board. In Experiment 1, we manipulated the weight-structure by presenting decisions with similarly relevant or differently relevant information. Results suggested that 8- to 9-year-olds did not adapt their search to the weight-structure. In contrast, 10- to 12-year-olds did consider relevance weights. Still, 8- to 9-year-olds and 10- to 12-year-olds were unable to search for a good, adultlike information sample containing all relevant and no irrelevant information. Thus, children based their decisions on a biased information sample. In Experiment 2, we intensified the need to consider relevance weights by introducing a search constraint. In doing so, we replicated the deficits of 8- to 9-year-olds and found adultlike behavior in 11- to 12-year-olds. Our findings suggest that although children understand that relevance may vary, they are not immediately able to effectively consider relevance weights in their information search--which appears to be a skill that continues to develop throughout childhood. We discuss the resulting implications for understanding children as decision makers as well as the general ability to perform structured information search.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Germany
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A