Learning From “Thinkers”: Parent Epistemological Understanding Predicts Individual Differences in Children’s Judgments About Reasoners

Sarah Suárez, Melissa A. Koenig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Four-, 5-, and 6-year olds (N = 102) observed agents perform a reasoning task that required gathering hidden evidence. An agent who made sound inferences was contrasted with an agent who made either unsound inferences (UI; failed to base conclusion on gathered evidence) or guesses (failed to gather evidence). Four-year olds attributed knowledge to all agents and endorsed their conclusions widely. However, 5- and 6-year olds’ knowledge attributions were mitigated by UI, and 6-year olds neither attributed knowledge to a guesser nor endorsed his conclusions. Notably, parents’ tendency to make evaluativist epistemological judgments—which place value in evidence as a basis for belief—predicted children’s reluctance to learn from and credit knowledge to poor reasoners. Parents’ evaluativist judgments also predicted children’s selective learning about object functions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)715-730
Number of pages16
JournalChild development
Volume92
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the National Science Foundation Grant # 1024298 and the NAEd/Spencer Foundation Dissertation Fellowship. The authors thank Lindsey Huffer-Kiesow, Laura McCreary, Caroline Clause, Gregory Crawford, Ryan Steele, and Fatuma Qorane for their assistance with stimuli development, participant recruitment, data collection, and reliability coding.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Society for Research in Child Development

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Learning From “Thinkers”: Parent Epistemological Understanding Predicts Individual Differences in Children’s Judgments About Reasoners'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this