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ERIC Number: EJ904186
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 28
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 37
ISSN: ISSN-1524-8372
Preschoolers Use Questions as a Tool to Acquire Knowledge from Different Sources
Mills, Candice M.; Legare, Cristine H.; Bills, Megan; Mejias, Caroline
Journal of Cognition and Development, v11 n4 p533-560 2010
How do children use questions as tools to acquire new knowledge? The current experiment examined preschool children's ability to direct questions to appropriate sources to acquire knowledge. Fifty preschoolers engaged in a task that entailed asking questions to discover which special key would open a box that contained a prize. Children solved simple and complex problems by questioning two puppet experts who knew about separate features of each key. Results indicate dramatic developmental differences in the efficiency and efficacy of children's questions. Although even 3-year-olds asked questions, their questions were largely ineffective and directed toward inappropriate sources. Four-year-olds directed questions toward the appropriate sources but asked approximately equal numbers of effective and ineffective questions. Only 5-year-olds both asked the appropriate sources and formulated effective questions. Implications for the development of problem-solving abilities are discussed. (Contains 2 tables, 2 figures and 1 footnote.)
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 - Evaluative
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Preschool Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A