Young Children Are Especially Trusting of Things They're Told

Atheistextremist
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Young Children Are Especially Trusting of Things They're Told

 

ScienceDaily (Oct. 15, 2010) — Little kids believe the darnedest things. For example, that a fat man in a red suit flies through the air on a sleigh pulled by reindeer. A new study on three-year-olds, published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, finds that they aren't just generally trusting. They're particularly trusting of things people say to them.

Previous research has found that three-year-olds are a credulous bunch; they believe most things they're told, and skepticism doesn't kick in until later. Vikram K. Jaswal, of the University of Virginia, wanted to look more closely at trust in three-year-olds. Through his work on how young children learn language, he became interested in what they do with what they hear. "Why are they so willing to accept somebody else's word, for example, that an eel is a fish, when it looks so much like a snake?" he asks. For this study, he and his students, A. Carrington Croft, Alison R. Setia, and Caitlin A. Cole, asked whether three-year-olds are more trusting of information they are told than the same information conveyed to them without words.

In one experiment, an adult showed children a red and a yellow cup, then hid a sticker under the red one. With some children, she claimed (incorrectly) that the sticker was under the yellow cup; with other children, she placed an arrow on the yellow cup without saying anything. The children were given the chance to search under one of the cups and allowed to keep the sticker if they found it. This game was repeated eight times (with pairs of differently colored cups).

The children who saw the adult put the arrow on the incorrect cup quickly figured out that they shouldn't believe her. But the kids who heard the adult say the sticker was under a particular cup continued to take her word for where it was. Of those 16 children, nine never once found the sticker. Even when the adult had already misled them seven times in a row, on the eighth chance, they still looked under the cup where she said the sticker was. (At the end of the study, the children were given all the stickers whether or not they'd found any of them.)

"Children have developed a specific bias to believe what they're told," says Jaswal. "It's sort of a short cut to keep them from having to evaluate what people say. It's useful because most of the time parents and caregivers tell children things that they believe to be true." Of course, there are times when people do lie to children -- about Santa Claus, for example, but also in less innocuous situations. Jaswal says it is useful to understand the specifics of children's trusting natures -- in this case, to understand that they believe what people tell them, but can be more skeptical about information delivered in other ways.

 

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101014154755.htm

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


Atheistextremist
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This finding suggests to me

 

That toddler bibles and Sunday School for wee kids should be banned. This is also interesting to me from the point of view of the establishment of baseline essentialism in children - and the manipulation of their ability to assign significant meaning to inanimate things or imaginary things to encompass an invisible anthro father-god. The word 'Father' is a strong word with powerful protective connotations for young kids.

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


cygo
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Good point

Good posts all

 


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Atheistextremist

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

That toddler bibles and Sunday School for wee kids should be banned. This is also interesting to me from the point of view of the establishment of baseline essentialism in children - and the manipulation of their ability to assign significant meaning to inanimate things or imaginary things to encompass an invisible anthro father-god. The word 'Father' is a strong word with powerful protective connotations for young kids.

 

 

 

It makes sense.  Until someone has a certain amount of information and development the only way to function is to take things at face value...essentially to be gullible.  My daughter is three and I doubt there is much I couldn't convince her of.  Promoting neutral, evidence based education and critical thinking in early education is probably one of the most important things we can do to help our causes, long term.  Schools should be teaching kids to be rational thinkers from the minute they walk in the door until the minute they graduate from their doctoral programs.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


EXC
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Atheistextremist

Atheistextremist wrote:

ScienceDaily (Oct. 15, 2010) — Little kids believe the darnedest things. For example, that a fat man in a red suit flies through the air on a sleigh pulled by reindeer. A new study on three-year-olds, published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, finds that they aren't just generally trusting. They're particularly trusting of things people say to them.

 

I know in my own case, skepticism about Santa kicked in when I realized that older kids didn't believe in him and when I would be socially scorned for believing in him. I believe adults would still believe in Santa(just like Jesus) if was socially acceptable to do so.

Religion has to prevent our message from getting out. If people could see there believe in Yahweh and Jesus was just as silly as Santa, the religion would end.

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


cygo
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Sorry about the NAZI's, kids.

border=0
  Sorry about the NAZI's, kids.
      How 'bout some candy?

 


cygo
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Hands off our kids.

http://images2.sina.com/english/world/p/2008/0903/U137P200T1D183927F8DT20080903225525.jpg