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ERIC Number: EJ828065
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Jul
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 42
ISSN: ISSN-1524-8372
Turning Believers into Skeptics: 3-Year-Olds' Sensitivity to Cues to Speaker Credibility
Jaswal, Vikram K.; Malone, Lauren S.
Journal of Cognition and Development, v8 n3 p263-283 Jul 2007
Under most circumstances, children (and adults) can safely assume that the testimony they hear is true. In two studies, we investigated whether 3-year-olds (N = 100) would continue to hold this assumption even if the person who provided the testimony behaved in an uncertain, ignorant, and/or distracted manner. In Study 1, children were less likely to trust that, for example, a key-like object was a spoon if the speaker indicated uncertainty about her testimony (e.g., "I think this is a spoon") than if she simply labeled the object ostensively (e.g., "This is a spoon"). In Study 2, 3-year-olds were also more skeptical about a speaker's testimony when she had earlier made an obvious naming error and seemed distracted, but not when she either made an error or seemed distracted. These results indicate that 3-year-olds can respond differently to the same testimony, depending on the speaker's behavior. (Contains 2 figures and 2 tables.)
Psychology Press. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A