“I don’t know but I know who to ask”:12-month-olds actively seek information from knowledgeable adults

Bazhydai, Marina and Westermann, Gert and Parise, Eugenio (2020) “I don’t know but I know who to ask”:12-month-olds actively seek information from knowledgeable adults. Developmental Science. ISSN 1363-755X (In Press)

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Active social communication is an effective way for infants to learn about the world. Do pre-verbal and pre-pointing infants seek epistemic information from their social partners when motivated to obtain information they cannot discover independently? The present study investigated whether 12-month-olds (N = 30) selectively seek information from knowledgeable adults in situations of referential uncertainty. In a live experiment, infants were introduced to two unfamiliar adults, an Informant (reliably labeling objects) and a Non-Informant (equally socially engaging, but ignorant about object labels). At test, infants were asked to make an impossible choice - locate a novel referent among two novel objects. When facing epistemic uncertainty – but not at other phases of the procedure - infants selectively referred to the Informant rather than the Non-Informant. These results show that pre-verbal infants use social referencing to actively and selectively seek information from social partners as part of their interrogative communicative toolkit.

Item Type: Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title: Developmental Science
Uncontrolled Keywords: /dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3200/3204
Departments: Faculty of Science and Technology > Psychology
ID Code: 140350
Deposited By: ep_importer_pure
Deposited On: 17 Jan 2020 15:00
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: In Press
Last Modified: 18 Feb 2020 04:48
URI: https://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/140350

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