Explaining constrains causal learning in childhood

Citation:

Walker, C. M., Lombrozo, T., Williams, J. J., Rafferty, A. N., & Gopnik, A. (2017). Explaining constrains causal learning in childhood. Child Development , 88 (1), 229-246.
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Date Published:

2017 01

ISSN:

1467-8624

Abstract:

Three experiments investigate how self-generated explanation influences children's causal learning. Five-year-olds (N = 114) observed data consistent with two hypotheses and were prompted to explain or to report each observation. In Study 1, when making novel generalizations, explainers were more likely to favor the hypothesis that accounted for more observations. In Study 2, explainers favored a hypothesis that was consistent with prior knowledge. Study 3 pitted a hypothesis that accounted for more observations against a hypothesis consistent with prior knowledge. Explainers were more likely to base generalizations on prior knowledge. Findings suggest that attempts to explain drive children to evaluate hypotheses using features of "good" explanations, or those supporting generalizations with broad scope, as informed by children's prior knowledge and observations.

https://doi.org/10.1111/cdev.12590

DOI:

10.1111/cdev.12590

Alternate Journal:

Child Dev
See also: Journal Article
Last updated on 02/05/2019