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Make your own kinds of cues: when children make more accurate inferences than adults

Make your own kinds of cues: when children make more accurate inferences than adults
Make your own kinds of cues: when children make more accurate inferences than adults

In everyday decision making, we do not always have the luxury of using certain knowledge but often need to rely on cues, that is, pieces of information that can aid reasoning. We ask whether and under what circumstances children can focus on informative cues and make accurate inferences in real-world problems. We tested second-,third-, and fifth-grade children and young adults on two problems: which of two real cars is more expensive and which of two real cities has more inhabitants. We manipulated whether cues were given to the participants or the participants needed to generate their own cues. The main result was that when generating their own cues, younger children matched older children and young adults in accuracy or even outperformed them. On the other hand, when cues were given, children were less accurate than young adults. A possible explanation for this result is that children, on their own, tend to generate " perceptual" cues (e.g., " Which car is longer?") that are informative in the problems we studied. However, children are not able to recognize the most informative cues in a set that is given to them because they are not familiar with all cues (e.g., non-perceptual cues such as which car has more horsepower).

Cue-generation, Cues, Decision-making, Development, Inferences, Information search
0022-0965
517-535
Ruggeri, Azzurra
5a2d2597-3638-4598-8a3a-6768a81d4e99
Katsikopoulos, Konstantinos V.
b97c23d9-8b24-4225-8da4-be7ac2a14fba
Ruggeri, Azzurra
5a2d2597-3638-4598-8a3a-6768a81d4e99
Katsikopoulos, Konstantinos V.
b97c23d9-8b24-4225-8da4-be7ac2a14fba

Ruggeri, Azzurra and Katsikopoulos, Konstantinos V. (2013) Make your own kinds of cues: when children make more accurate inferences than adults. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 115 (3), 517-535. (doi:10.1016/j.jecp.2012.11.007).

Record type: Article

Abstract

In everyday decision making, we do not always have the luxury of using certain knowledge but often need to rely on cues, that is, pieces of information that can aid reasoning. We ask whether and under what circumstances children can focus on informative cues and make accurate inferences in real-world problems. We tested second-,third-, and fifth-grade children and young adults on two problems: which of two real cars is more expensive and which of two real cities has more inhabitants. We manipulated whether cues were given to the participants or the participants needed to generate their own cues. The main result was that when generating their own cues, younger children matched older children and young adults in accuracy or even outperformed them. On the other hand, when cues were given, children were less accurate than young adults. A possible explanation for this result is that children, on their own, tend to generate " perceptual" cues (e.g., " Which car is longer?") that are informative in the problems we studied. However, children are not able to recognize the most informative cues in a set that is given to them because they are not familiar with all cues (e.g., non-perceptual cues such as which car has more horsepower).

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More information

Published date: 1 July 2013
Keywords: Cue-generation, Cues, Decision-making, Development, Inferences, Information search

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 444266
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/444266
ISSN: 0022-0965
PURE UUID: a65ca59e-dfc9-4794-92c5-5c02d792fed7
ORCID for Konstantinos V. Katsikopoulos: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-9572-1980

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Date deposited: 07 Oct 2020 00:25
Last modified: 08 Jan 2022 03:29

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Author: Azzurra Ruggeri

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