NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ951149
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0885-2014
Which One Made It Go? The Emergence of Diagnostic Reasoning in Preschoolers
Fernbach, Philip M.; Macris, Deanna M.; Sobel, David M.
Cognitive Development, v27 n1 p39-53 Jan-Mar 2012
We evaluate the hypothesis that children's diagnostic causal reasoning becomes more sophisticated as their understanding of uncertainty advances. When the causal status of candidate causes was known, 3- and 4-year-olds were capable of diagnostic inference (Experiment 1) and could revise their beliefs when told their initial diagnosis was incorrect (Experiment 2). In Experiments 3 and 4, only 4-year-olds made successful inferences when the causal status of candidate causes was uncertain. The results suggest that by age 3, children appreciate that an effect can have multiple candidate causes, but it is not until age 4 that they begin to reason correctly when the causal status of candidate causes is unknown. (Contains 3 tables and 1 figure.)
Elsevier. 6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, FL 32887-4800. Tel: 877-839-7126; Tel: 407-345-4020; Fax: 407-363-1354; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Preschool Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A