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Knowing who knows: Infants’ metacognitive and causal learning abilities guide selective social learning


Knowing who knows: Infants’ metacognitive and causal learning abilities guide selective social learning

Kuzyk, Olivia (2018) Knowing who knows: Infants’ metacognitive and causal learning abilities guide selective social learning. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Given the widespread interest in the development of children’s selective social learning, there is mounting evidence suggesting that infants prefer to learn from competent informants (Poulin-Dubois & Brosseau-Liard, 2016). However, little research has been dedicated to understanding how this selectivity develops. The present study investigated whether causal learning and precursor metacognitive abilities govern discriminant learning in a classic word-learning paradigm. Infants were exposed to a speaker who accurately (reliable condition) or inaccurately (unreliable condition) labeled familiar objects, and were subsequently tested on their ability to learn a novel word from the informant. The predictive power of causal learning skills and precursor metacognition (as measured through decision confidence) on infants’ word learning was examined across both reliable and unreliable conditions. Results suggest that infants are more inclined to accept an unreliable speaker’s testimony on a word learning task when they also lack confidence in their own knowledge on a task measuring their metacognitive ability. Additionally, when uncertain, infants draw on causal learning abilities to better learn the association between a label and a novel toy. This study is the first to shed light on the role of causal learning and precursor metacognitive judgments in infants’ abilities to engage in selective trust.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Psychology
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Kuzyk, Olivia
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Date:13 August 2018
Thesis Supervisor(s):Poulin-Dubois, Diane
Keywords:Selective trust, metacognition, decision confidence, causal learning
ID Code:984167
Deposited By: OLIVIA KUZYK
Deposited On:16 Nov 2018 15:26
Last Modified:16 Nov 2018 15:26


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