Monday, July 25, 2005

Lost innocence...

New research shows that by the age of 7, children are able to take statements with a grain of salt, specifically when the speaker may have a bias toward a certain outcome. They subsequently learn how to parse out motives behind misleading statements.
By age 11, children were shown to be able to perceive situational bias as well as deliberate deception as possible explanations for what people said. In short, at least by age 7, children can be cynical, recognizing that people's statements may be influenced by their own interests. Yet the 7-year-olds' blindness to unintentional bias as an explanation suggests that a full understanding of how self-interests influence what people say and do develops over childhood.
I don't think such cynicism would surprise any veteran of the playground, but still, neat to see the stages quantified.

(via Follow Me Here)

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