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Institute of Child Study >

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/17872

Title: Children’s informational reliance during inconsistent communication: The public–private distinction
Authors: Lee, Kang
Keywords: communication
public speech
private speech
social pragmatics
Issue Date: 2009
Citation: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 104, 214–228.
Series/Report no.: 104, 214–228
Abstract: The present study examined whether children recognize that when there is a discrepancy between what is expressed in public versus what is expressed in private, the private expression is more indicative of the true state of affairs. Three-, 4- and 5-year-olds were shown a video in which a girl expressed that she liked the refreshments her friend had made when the friend was present but expressed dislike when the friend was not present. The results of the first two experiments revealed that older children were significantly more likely to rely on private than public information to interpret the inconsistent messages, whereas 3-year-olds were not. In the third experiment, older children performed better when the inconsistency occurred in the nonverbal domain compared to the verbal domain. The fact that even 4-year-olds show some signs of understanding the private-public distinction is remarkable given that previous research on inconsistent communication indicates that children's understanding typically comes much later. Possible explanations for this discrepancy are discussed.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/17872
Appears in Collections:Institute of Child Study

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