Informant effort expenditure impacts young children’s learning, eye gaze, and trust


Abstract: Recent research has suggested informant trust is an important factor in preschoolers’ observational learning. This poster will present data from an ongoing study examining if 3.5- to 6.5-year-old children (current n=24) relate perceptions of effort and trust. Children watched two informants solving problems using different solutions, exerting either high or low effort. Children’s eye gaze, trust of each informant, and learning from informants were measured. There were no significant differences in trust of the two informants, but children were significantly more likely to learn the solution demonstrated by the high effort informant, t(23) = 2.161, p = 0.041. High effort informant trust was also significantly related to time spent looking at the high effort informant, r = 0.675, p < 0.01. These findings indicate children are more likely to watch informants who exert high effort and are more likely to use those solutions when faced with a novel problem.

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