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Do Children Always Trust Confident Individuals? : Not When it Comes to Moral Dilemmas and Subjective… Passacantilli, Allegra; Aggarwal, Aksh; Stewardson, Charlotte; Lau, Parky; Severson, Rachel; Woodard, Shailee; Birch, Susan A.J. 2020-04

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75346-Passacantilli_A_et_al_Children_PURC_2020.pdf [ 247.33kB ]
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Do Children Always Trust Confident Individuals? Not When it Comes to Moral Dilemmas and Subjective OpinionsIntroduction● Children often treat confident individuals as more credible sources of information, which makes sense when factual information is the domain of knowledge in question (Birch et al. 2010; Brosseau-Liard & Birch, 2010; Brosseau-Liard et al. 2014).● Hesitancy may reflect a deeper level of thoughtfulness, and thus, credibility, when addressing moral dilemmas or subjective opinions.● This study determined how children assess credibility in speakers varying in their level of confidence (confident vs. hesitant) in three different domains of knowledge (factual vs. moral vs. subjective).MethodConfident speaker: Not the elephant, not the parrot. The dolphin, definitely the dolphin! Unconfident speaker: Maybe the elephant, maybe the parrot, maybe the dolphin?Measures: After each speakers response, children were then asked four different questions: A. How confident was she? B. Did you like her? C. Is she smart? D. Do you agree with her answer? Results● No differences were found in how the hesitant person is interpreted across all conditions (p > 0.10). ● Differences were seen in how participants rate the confident person in moral and factual condition. Allegra Passacantilli, Aksh Aggarwal, Charlotte Stewardson, Parky Lau, Rachel Severson, Shailee Woodard, Susan A.J. Birch● Children prefer to learn from confident sources over hesitant sources when learning new facts but do not have this preference when being provided subjective information or an opinion on a moral dilemma. ● Being confident or answering quickly when it’s a matter of opinion or in a high stakes moral situation seems to undermine one’s credibility. ● This research sheds light on the remarkable level of sophistication with which children are able to evaluate informants.Corresponding author: kidlab@gmail.comDiscussion and ConclusionParticipants: 84 children ages 6 to 8Dilemma phase: 8 different stories Factual condition: Which of these animals is the most intelligent? Moral condition: Which of these animals should get a prize for being so helpful? Subjective condition: Which of these animals is the nicest?MethodResults● Children rated the confident model as more confident in all 3 conditions. ● The fact condition is the only condition where we see the confident speaker as significantly preferred, rated as smarter and agreed with more. * = p < .05* = p < .05


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