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← Four-year-olds know that being right is not enough

Four-year-olds know that being right is not enough - Comments

mjs31's Avatar Comment 1 by mjs31

So that's when they stop believing what their dad tells them.

Sat, 20 Aug 2011 18:37:20 UTC | #862789

wisnoskij's Avatar Comment 2 by wisnoskij

So when did the ability and inclination to ask for help if you don't know an answer to a question become a bad thing? A interesting variation on this would be to see if the kids understood the difference between someone confidently giving them a false answer and someone else giving them a true answer.

Sat, 20 Aug 2011 19:28:51 UTC | #862807

Neodarwinian's Avatar Comment 3 by Neodarwinian

Getting religious answers from some one else is certainly not enough and certainly false, confidently given or not.

Sat, 20 Aug 2011 20:26:38 UTC | #862822

ZenDruid's Avatar Comment 4 by ZenDruid

I was a stubbornly skeptical larva at that age. What tended to convince me on any 'contentious' point was the consensus of two adults.

Sat, 20 Aug 2011 20:39:35 UTC | #862828

inquisador's Avatar Comment 5 by inquisador

"If you give a correct response it doesn't necessarily mean you're knowledgeable" she says. "You could be accurate because you asked someone else for help

That's how most knowledge is acquired. It's called being taught. (As Wisnoskij implies)

Sat, 20 Aug 2011 21:46:40 UTC | #862848

debaser71's Avatar Comment 6 by debaser71

"We think it's important that from the age of around four, children are being sophisticated in a way that people hadn't really shown before,"

I think the key word here is "shown". I really like this quote because it's sort of accepting that some people already knew that young children can be sophisticated thinkers. Well, now it's been "shown" too. I really like what the scientist had to say...but this is in stark contrast to how the article itself is written. The article seems to make the bold proclamations about what the data means...I'd rather see more quotes from the scientists or read what they wrote. I especially dislike when the author of the article mixes in their own words when quoting the scientists.

And really..stop using puppets and silly settings. If children are the sophisticated thinkers you claim they are (and I think they are) then treat them as such. Understand that children know when theirs something up...when they are being tested...they know when the adults are acting odd and asking them weird questions...children know that they are expected to play a certain role and/or give certain answers. The children aren't stupid...

And most children question the religion of their upbringing. Sadly, sometimes the adults literally beat religion into their kids.

Sat, 20 Aug 2011 23:46:26 UTC | #862865

EvolvedLuke's Avatar Comment 7 by EvolvedLuke

I think that maybe children at around 4 begin to notice a confident answer from an adult rather than an an answer that the adult doesn't believe or is not knowledgeable about. It would seem to me that when a 4 year old poses a question to an adult they expect an answer and no adult would willingly admit to a child that they don't know the answer when from their perception they could just lie thinking it would have no harm. I have been in the Marines for 4 years and i can tell you first hand even when dealing with adults you can get people to believe almost anything with the correct amount of bearing take this for example ( this is an article that claims that light bulbs don't emit light they instead suck all the dark out of the room giving the illusion of light which is of course nonsense but give it a try you will be shocked with the right amount of confidence how many adults you can rope in with this argument. Although I agree that a 4 year old may be showing a glimmer of doubt in peoples answers when asked I think it's more likely they are seeing the lack of confidence in the person giving the answer. This could also shed some light on why they so readily believe in religion at a young age rather than doubt it because the adults teaching it to them do it from a place of absolute confidence rather than doubt.

Sun, 21 Aug 2011 07:31:41 UTC | #862918

Teknical's Avatar Comment 8 by Teknical

I love it when a scientist tells you the blindingly obvious.

Maybe if we had all been four years old at some point in our lives we could have arrived at the same conclusion.

Sun, 21 Aug 2011 09:45:29 UTC | #862932

aquilacane's Avatar Comment 9 by aquilacane

"They're able to distinguish someone who's truly knowledgeable from someone who's given them a right answer but doesn't necessarily deserve long-term trust." This useful skill allows children to seek out people who are likely to be particularly beneficial for their learning.

That's great when the kids know if the answer is right or wrong. Is this an elephant? Yes it is an elephant. Is this a mongoose? What's a mongoose? Better ask the puppet who knows everything I know, so far. Is this god? Yes this is god.

Parents answer as though they know everything when they don't. I wouldn't call them truly knowledgeable. I would call them confidently wrong.

Sun, 21 Aug 2011 12:00:31 UTC | #862951

educationsaves's Avatar Comment 10 by educationsaves

When does the ability to judge if someone is a good source of information turn back off for some people? Whole groups of people seem to think creationists are a good source of information on science. Were they never able to tell the difference? Perhaps it is short circuited by people who pretend convincingly to have the answer. I wonder if they if they tested to see what would happen if they confidently gave an incorrect answer.

Sun, 21 Aug 2011 13:10:44 UTC | #862965

Stevehill's Avatar Comment 11 by Stevehill

On this basis, they should stop believing in any gods aged 4 too.

A far more interesting study would be about why they don't.

Sun, 21 Aug 2011 14:41:57 UTC | #862982

EvolvedLuke's Avatar Comment 12 by EvolvedLuke

@ educationsaves I haven't seen the test results but I feel pretty confident in saying the 4 year old child would most definitely be sold by a confidently given incorrect answer they may be showing signs of doubt but they simply do not have the experience or knowledge to test any new information so a confidently given false statement and a true statement would be indistinguishable to a 4 year old unless it happens to conflict something they have previously been taught

Sun, 21 Aug 2011 18:28:40 UTC | #863029

KenChimp's Avatar Comment 13 by KenChimp

This study proves that human beings are indeed intelligent until "properly" socialized, and therefore inoculated against critical thinking.


Tue, 23 Aug 2011 15:15:42 UTC | #863379