Social Cognitive Development: Learning from Others

Gail D. Heyman and Cristine H. Legare

in The Oxford Handbook of Social Cognition

Published in print August 2013 | ISBN: 9780199730018
Published online October 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Social Cognitive Development: Learning from Others

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  • Social Psychology
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Children’s reliance on other people as sources of information has become an important topic of study within childhood development. Researchers have shown that children younger than age 5 can draw on a range of cues to determine when skepticism of sources is warranted, and that source reasoning is related to the development of theory of mind. This chapter provides an overview of children’s source reasoning and discusses some limitations in their ability to learn from others, including difficulties in reasoning about deception. Research on more dynamic aspects of social learning that involves information seeking and the active construction of belief systems in collaboration with others is also discussed. As a whole, research in this area is beginning to reveal how children’s developing social and cognitive skills serve to guide their acquisition of knowledge.

Keywords: childhood development; deception; skepticism; reasoning; information seeking; theory of mind

Article.  14381 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Social Psychology ; Cognitive Psychology

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