Cookies

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.


Durham Research Online
You are in:

Children transition from simple associations to explicitly reasoned social learning strategies between age four and eight

Blakey, Kirsten H. and Renner, Elizabeth and Atkinson, Mark and Rafetseder, Eva and Caldwell, Christine A. (2022) 'Children transition from simple associations to explicitly reasoned social learning strategies between age four and eight.', Scientific Reports, 12 (1).

Abstract

To differentiate the use of simple associations from use of explicitly reasoned selective social learning, we can look for age-related changes in children’s behaviour that might signify a switch from one social learning strategy to the other. We presented 4- to 8-year-old children visiting a zoo in Scotland (N = 109) with a task in which the perceptual access of two informants was determined by the differing opacity of two screens of similar visual appearance during a hiding event. Initially success could be achieved by forming an association or inferring a rule based on salient visual (but causally irrelevant) cues. However, following a switch in the scenario, success required explicit reasoning about informants’ potential to provide valuable information based on their perceptual access. Following the switch, older children were more likely to select a knowledgeable informant. This suggests that some younger children who succeeded in the pre-switch trials had inferred rules or formed associations based on superficial, yet salient, visual cues, whereas older children made the link between perceptual access and the potential to inform. This late development and apparent cognitive challenge are consistent with proposals that such capacities are linked to the distinctiveness of human cumulative culture.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(VoR) Version of Record
Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
Download PDF
(2363Kb)
Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-09092-1
Publisher statement:This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Date accepted:17 March 2022
Date deposited:17 May 2022
Date of first online publication:23 March 2022
Date first made open access:17 May 2022

Save or Share this output

Export:
Export
Look up in GoogleScholar