The development of selective copying : children's learning from an expert versus their mother
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This study tested the prediction that, with age, children should rely less on familiarity and more on expertise in their selective social learning. Experiment 1 (N = 50) found that 5- to 6-year-olds copied the technique their mother used to extract a prize from a novel puzzle box, in preference to both a stranger and an established expert. This bias occurred despite children acknowledging the expert model's superior capability. Experiment 2 (N = 50) demonstrated a shift in 7- to 8-year-olds toward copying the expert. Children aged 9–10 years did not copy according to a model bias. The findings of a follow-up study (N = 30) confirmed that, instead, they prioritized their own—partially flawed—causal understanding of the puzzle box.
Lucas , A J , Burdett , E R R , Burgess , V , Wood , L A , McGuigan , N , Harris , P L & Whiten , A 2017 , ' The development of selective copying : children's learning from an expert versus their mother ' Child Development , vol 88 , no. 6 , pp. 2026-2042 . DOI: 10.1111/cdev.12711
© 2016 The Authors. Child Development © 2016 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc. This work has been made available online in accordance with the publisher’s policies. This is the author created, accepted version manuscript following peer review and may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at: https://doi.org/10.1111/cdev.12711
This work was supported by a John Templeton Foundation (grant ID 40128)
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