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Children’s ability to detect confidence and emotion from people’s paralinguistic cues Dhutt, Gurvir; Cai, Nicolle; Stewardson, Charlotte; Ghrear, Siba; Birch, Susan A.J. 2020-04

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INTRODUCTIONCONCLUSIONMETHOD (cont.)METHODChildren’s ability to detect confidence and emotion from people’s paralinguistic cuesGurvir Dhutt, Nicolle Cai, Charlotte Stewardson, Siba Ghrear & Susan A.J. BirchParticipants: n = 59 ages 3-6 Endorse Trials: Were children more likely to endorse the confident speaker? Confident: “That’s a rayble! Yeah! That’s a rayble!”Hesitant: “That’s...a rayble? Yeah? That’s...a rayble?”“Which one is a rayble?”Ask Trials: Were children more likely to ask confident speaker about new objects?Smart Trial: Were children more likely to think that the confident speaker is smarter?• Preliminary data analyses suggest that children ages 3-6 are likely able to distinguish between paralinguistic cues of confidence, think that confident individuals are smarter, and infer the correct object in question using paralinguistic cues of affect.• By age of 5-6, children show a tendency to agree with the answer provided by a confident speaker over a hesitant speaker when learning new words.• These findings bear important practical implications on teaching and parenting young children ages 3-6.kidlab@psych.ubc.ca RESULTSRESULTS (cont.)Overall mean performance compared to chance by trial type Performance is measured by the likelihood of participants picking the confident speaker (endorse, ask, smart and explicit trials) or the correct object (affect trials).There is an interaction between the  ask / explicit confidence / affect trials and age. Older children tend to do better.Mean performance compared to chance of older children (5-6) and younger children (3-4) by trial typeOlder children performed significantly above chance for all trials except Ask trials.• Previous studies examining children's development of understanding of other people's knowledge states have used paralinguistic cues (intonation, volume, speed) in combination with at least one other cue (e.g. lexical, facial expressions, body language). None have used paralinguistic cues alone. • A gap also exists in the literature on whether children prefer to learn general information from more paralinguistically confident sources, as existing literature focused on situation-bound information only (Moore, Harris & Patriquin, 1993). • Primary aim: determine whether children between the ages of 3-6 distinguish between and use paralinguistic cues of confidence alone when choosing who to learn from.• Secondary aim: replicate and extend a previous finding that children can infer an object in question using paralinguistic cues of affect (Berman, Chambers & Graham, 2010).Explicit Confidence Trials: Were children able to explicitly say which person was confident and match confident voice to visual cues of confidence?Affect Trials: Were children able to associate sad/happy intonation with appropriate image?Happy: “Look at that! Look at that  one!”“Which one was she talking about?”Sad: “Look at that… Look at that one...”“Which one was she talking about?”

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