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ERIC Number: EJ1177254
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1524-8372
Children Use Nonverbal Cues from an Adult to Evaluate Peers
Brey, Elizabeth; Shutts, Kristin
Journal of Cognition and Development, v19 n2 p121-136 2018
What factors contribute to children's tendency to view individuals as having different traits and abilities? The present research tested whether young children are influenced by adults' nonverbal behaviors when making inferences about peers. In Study 1, participants (aged 5-6 years) viewed multiple videos of interactions between a "teacher" and two "students"; all individuals were unfamiliar to participants. In each clip, the students behaved similarly, but the teacher did not: She either smiled, nodded, touched, or shook her head at one student, and she looked at the other student with a neutral expression. In Study 1, children tended to infer that students who received more positive behaviors from the teacher were smarter, nicer, and stronger. Study 2 pitted differences in the teacher's behavior against differences in the students' performance. When asked who was smarter, children selected lower-performing students who received more positive nonverbal cues from the teacher rather than higher-performing students who received less positive cues. These findings indicate that an authority figure's nonverbal behaviors can influence children's inferences about others and shed light on one mechanism guiding young children's evaluations of people in their social world.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 530 Walnut Street Suite 850, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Tel: 215-625-8900; Fax: 215-207-0050; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Kindergarten
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) (NIH); National Science Foundation (NSF); Institute of Education Sciences (ED)
Authoring Institution: N/A
IES Funded: Yes
Grant or Contract Numbers: R305B090009; R01HD07089053; P30HD03352; 1606808