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The whole truth
Date:6/10/2014

rthy or not?

In the new study, Gweon wanted to investigate what the children thought of the teacher who did not fully explain what the toy could do.

"Previous studies about children's trust in informants or teachers focused on whether children distinguish, and learn differentially from, someone who says something false from someone who's telling the truth," she says. "Going beyond those sensitivities to truth and falseness, what I wanted to see in this study is whether children are also sensitive to someone who's telling the truth but not the whole truth; someone who didn't tell them everything that they ought to know."

In the first experiment, children aged 6 and 7 were given a toy to explore on their own until they discovered all of its functions. One group of children received a toy that had four buttons, each of which activated a different feature a windup mechanism, LED lights, a spinning globe, and music while the other group was given a toy that looked nearly identical but had only one button, which controlled the windup mechanism. Then the children watched as a "teacher" puppet demonstrated the toy to a "student" puppet. For both toys, the teacher's instruction was the same: He demonstrated only the windup mechanism.

After the demonstration, the children were asked to rate how helpful the teacher was, using a scale from 1 to 20. Even though the teacher always demonstrated just the windup mechanism, children who knew the toy had three more undemonstrated functions gave much lower ratings than children who knew it was the toy's only function.

The second experiment began the same way, with the children exploring the toy, then seeing either a full or incomplete demonstration of its functions. However, in this study, the teacher then brought out a second toy. Although this toy had four functions, the teacher demonstrated only one.

Children who had previously seen a demonstration they knew to be incom
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Contact: Sarah McDonnell
s_mcd@mit.edu
617-253-8923
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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