Do children understand what information is most helpful for identifying good sources? (4- and 5-year-olds)
Quite a bit of research has demonstrated that children rely on various cues to determine who might be a good source of information. For example, someone's previous behavior, and even that person's appearance, may affect whether a child chooses to trust them. However, it may also be the case that some kinds of cues (like whether someone knows the names of a lot of different objects) may be better indicators of knowledge and reliability than other cues (like whether they simply look knowledgeable). In this series of studies we are exploring whether children can make this distinction between different types of cues. In other words, do they understand that some pieces of information may be more helpful in identifying a good source of information than others? This work helps us understand whether children have a metacognitive understanding of how they learn about other people.
Do children's personalities affect how they establish trust? (3-, 4-, and 5-year-olds)
In this line of research we are exploring whether differences in children's temperaments (e.g., is a child outgoing? shy? fearful? easy to please?) affect their trust. Specifically, we are curious about whether temperament may play a larger role in younger children's trust, and whether this variation may disspate as children get older and develop clearer strategies for determine who is a trustworthy source of information. This works helps us to understand how individual differences in children's dispositions affect how they come to trust others.