The research was supported by a grant from the Economic and Social Research Council, United Kingdom (RES-000-22-1847).
Children’s Trust in Previously Inaccurate Informants Who Were Well or Poorly Informed: When Past Errors Can Be Excused
Article first published online: 5 FEB 2009
© 2009, Copyright the Author(s); Journal Compilation © 2009, Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.
Volume 80, Issue 1, pages 23–27, January/February 2009
How to Cite
Nurmsoo, E. and Robinson, E. J. (2009), Children’s Trust in Previously Inaccurate Informants Who Were Well or Poorly Informed: When Past Errors Can Be Excused. Child Development, 80: 23–27. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2008.01243.x
- Issue published online: 5 FEB 2009
- Article first published online: 5 FEB 2009
Past research demonstrates that children learn from a previously accurate speaker rather than from a previously inaccurate one. This study shows that children do not necessarily treat a previously inaccurate speaker as unreliable. Rather, they appropriately excuse past inaccuracy arising from the speaker’s limited information access. Children (N= 67) aged 3, 4, and 5 years aimed to identify a hidden toy in collaboration with a puppet as informant. When the puppet had previously been inaccurate despite having full information, children tended to ignore what they were told and guess for themselves: They treated the puppet as unreliable in the longer term. However, children more frequently believed a currently well-informed puppet whose past inaccuracies arose legitimately from inadequate information access.