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Kim, Sunae; Kalish, Charles W.; Weisman, Kara; Johnson, Marissa V.; Shutts, Kristin (2016): Young Children Choose to Inform Previously Knowledgeable Others. In: Journal of Cognition and Development, Vol. 17, No. 2: pp. 320-340
Full text not available from 'Open Access LMU'.


Children recognize that people who know more are better informants than those who know less. How does an individual's prior knowledge affect children's decisions about whom to inform? In 3 experiments, 3- to 6-year-old children were invited to share a novel piece of information with 1 of 2 potential recipients who differed in their recent history of knowledge. Children tended to inform the previously knowledgeable person rather than the previously ignorant person. This same effect was observed in a 4th experiment when the knowledgeable person stated that she already knew the information the participant had to share. In no case was the opposite pattern observed: Children never chose to inform the person who had known less. These results seem to conflict with equity considerations and may reflect a preference to affiliate with competent social partners.