Experimental “Microcultures” in Young Children: Identifying Biographic, Cognitive, and Social Predictors of Information Transmission
Article first published online: 14 MAR 2012
© 2012 The Authors. Child Development © 2012 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.
Volume 83, Issue 3, pages 911–925, May/June 2012
How to Cite
Flynn, E. and Whiten, A. (2012), Experimental “Microcultures” in Young Children: Identifying Biographic, Cognitive, and Social Predictors of Information Transmission. Child Development, 83: 911–925. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2012.01747.x
- Issue published online: 1 MAY 2012
- Article first published online: 14 MAR 2012
In one of the first open diffusion experiments with young children, a tool-use task that afforded multiple methods to extract an enclosed reward and a child model habitually using one of these methods were introduced into different playgroups. Eighty-eight children, ranging in age from 2 years 8 months to 4 years 5 months, participated. Measures were taken of how alternative methods and success in extracting rewards spread across the different groups. Additionally, the biographic, social, cognitive, and temperamental predictors of social learning were investigated. Variations in social learning were related to age, popularity, dominance, impulsivity, and shyness, while other factors such as sex, theory of mind, verbal ability, and even imitativeness showed little association with variance in children’s information acquisition.