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How adults’ actions, outcomes, and testimony affect preschoolers’ persistence

Published on Sep 9, 2019in Child Development
· DOI :10.1111/cdev.13305
Julia A. Leonard11
Estimated H-index: 11
(MIT: Massachusetts Institute of Technology),
Andrea Garcia (MIT: Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Laura Schulz27
Estimated H-index: 27
(MIT: Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Abstract
  • References (61)
  • Citations (0)
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References61
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Infants understand that people pursue goals, but how do they learn which goals people prefer? We tested whether infants solve this problem by inverting a mental model of action planning, trading off the costs of acting against the rewards actions bring. After seeing an agent attain two goals equally often at varying costs, infants expected the agent to prefer the goal it attained through costlier actions. These expectations held across three experiments that conveyed cost through different physi...
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Persistence, above and beyond IQ, is associated with long-term academic outcomes. To look at the effect of adult models on infants’ persistence, we conducted an experiment in which 15-month-olds were assigned to one of three conditions: an Effort condition in which they saw an adult try repeatedly, using various methods, to achieve each of two different goals; a No Effort condition in which the adult achieved the goals effortlessly; or a Baseline condition. Infants were then given a difficult, n...
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This paper uses nationally-representative data from the PSID and CDS to estimate the causal effects of two parent socialization actions—talking to children about giving and role-modeling—on children’s decisions whether or not to give to charity. We develop an identification framework based on the intra-household allocation and cultural transmission literatures that shows how different assumptions about parental response to time-varying unobserved changes in children’s prosocial values can be com...
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