Children Decide Quickly Whom to Trust

KINGSTON, Ontario, Sept. 8 (UPI) — One contact is all a 7-year-old child needs before deciding whom to trust for information, Canadian researchers say.

Researchers at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, say a single interaction affects the way a child seeks information — a 4-year-old may need some more information before being able to make a decision, but 7-year-olds were quick to make a judgment after one encounter about whom to go to for information.

“It shows that kids really pay attention to people’s accuracy and they don’t forget it, even after interacting with that person one time,” Stanka Fitneva says in a statement.

Fitneva, graduate student Kristen Dunfield and colleagues tested adults and children by having questions answered with both a right and wrong answer on the computer.

When a second question was asked and participants were told they could only ask one person for the answer, the adults and 7-year-olds always choose to ask the person who previously gave the right answer. The result of 4-year-olds varied on the way the question was asked, showing that 4-year-olds generally need more than a single encounter, the researchers say.

The findings were published in Developmental Psychology.

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