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ERIC Number: EJ1202487
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0009-3920
Rational Higher-Order Belief Revision in Young Children
Kimura, Katherine; Gopnik, Alison
Child Development, v90 n1 p91-97 Jan-Feb 2019
Belief revision can occur at multiple levels of abstraction, including lower-level and higher-order beliefs. It remains unclear, however, how conflicting evidence interacts with prior beliefs to encourage higher-order belief revision. This study explores how 4- and 5-year-olds (N = 96) respond to evidence that directly conflicts with their causal higher-order beliefs. When shown a single event that directly violated a strongly supported prior belief, preschoolers largely maintained their initial higher-order belief. However, when the prior belief was more weakly supported and the counterevidence was stronger, children changed their minds. These findings indicate that young children can revise their higher-order beliefs and, furthermore, do so depending on the strength of both the evidence and their prior beliefs.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: BCS1331620