Event Title

Teachers know best: Preschoolers use sample size and diversity information in pedagogical, but not in non-pedagogical contexts.

Mentor 1

Christopher Lawson

Location

Union Wisconsin Room

Start Date

24-4-2015 10:30 AM

End Date

24-4-2015 11:45 AM

Description

Despite children’s early inductive sophistication (Gelman & Coley, 1991) they struggle to evaluate the composition of samples; before 8 years of age children do not recognize that diverse and large samples provide better evidence to make a prediction than non-diverse and small samples (Gutheil & Gelman, 1997). In this study we asked whether children’s awareness of the value of larger and more diverse samples is influenced by the source of the information presented to them. Preschoolers were presented samples of evidence about novel properties associated with different animals; half of items measured attention to sample size (e.g. two bears vs. five bears) and the other half measured attention to diversity (e.g. three brown bears vs. polar bear, brown bear, black bear). The samples were described as being provided by either “teachers” or “kids”. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three conditions. In the Induction condition participants were told a novel property about each of the samples (e.g. “These bears eat olin and these bears eat rooga”), and then asked to project one of the properties to a yet-to-be-seen animal (e.g., “Do you think this bear eats olin or rooga?”). In two other conditions children were told that two actors presented the samples (e.g. “This person says these animals eat olin and this person says these animals eat rooga”) and then asked to decide which actor they would trust to teach them about a novel animal. In the Teacher condition actors were described as “teachers”, and in the Child condition actors were described as “kids”. Our results indicate that children paid more attention to the composition of the samples presented by teachers than kids. In the Induction condition, children were not sensitive to sample size and diversity when making judgments, consistent with prior finding. However, children did consider these features when a teacher presented the information, but not when the same information was presented by a child. These results have implications for understanding the special status of reasoning in pedagogical contexts.

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Apr 24th, 10:30 AM Apr 24th, 11:45 AM

Teachers know best: Preschoolers use sample size and diversity information in pedagogical, but not in non-pedagogical contexts.

Union Wisconsin Room

Despite children’s early inductive sophistication (Gelman & Coley, 1991) they struggle to evaluate the composition of samples; before 8 years of age children do not recognize that diverse and large samples provide better evidence to make a prediction than non-diverse and small samples (Gutheil & Gelman, 1997). In this study we asked whether children’s awareness of the value of larger and more diverse samples is influenced by the source of the information presented to them. Preschoolers were presented samples of evidence about novel properties associated with different animals; half of items measured attention to sample size (e.g. two bears vs. five bears) and the other half measured attention to diversity (e.g. three brown bears vs. polar bear, brown bear, black bear). The samples were described as being provided by either “teachers” or “kids”. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three conditions. In the Induction condition participants were told a novel property about each of the samples (e.g. “These bears eat olin and these bears eat rooga”), and then asked to project one of the properties to a yet-to-be-seen animal (e.g., “Do you think this bear eats olin or rooga?”). In two other conditions children were told that two actors presented the samples (e.g. “This person says these animals eat olin and this person says these animals eat rooga”) and then asked to decide which actor they would trust to teach them about a novel animal. In the Teacher condition actors were described as “teachers”, and in the Child condition actors were described as “kids”. Our results indicate that children paid more attention to the composition of the samples presented by teachers than kids. In the Induction condition, children were not sensitive to sample size and diversity when making judgments, consistent with prior finding. However, children did consider these features when a teacher presented the information, but not when the same information was presented by a child. These results have implications for understanding the special status of reasoning in pedagogical contexts.