Can't stop believing: Inhibitory control and resistance to misleading testimony

Vikram K. Jaswal, Koraly Elisa Perez-Edgar, Robyn L. Kondrad, Carolyn M. Palmquist, Caitlin A. Cole, Claire E. Cole

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

36 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Why are some young children consistently willing to believe what they are told even when it conflicts with first-hand experience? In this study, we investigated the possibility that this deference reflects an inability to inhibit a prepotent response. Over the course of several trials, 2.5- to 3.5-year-olds (N = 58) heard an adult contradict their report of a simple event they had both witnessed, and children were asked to resolve this discrepancy. Those who repeatedly deferred to the adult's misleading testimony had more difficulty on an inhibitory control task involving spatial conflict than those who responded more skeptically. These results suggest that responding skeptically to testimony that conflicts with first-hand experience may be challenging for some young children because it requires inhibiting a normally appropriate bias to believe testimony. Some young children consistently believe what they are told even when it conflicts with something they have seen. We show that these 'deferential' children have more difficulty inhibiting a dominant response than 'skeptical' children who favor perceptual evidence. We suggest that not believing testimony can be challenging because it requires inhibiting a normally adaptive bias to believe information other people provide.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)965-976
Number of pages12
JournalDevelopmental Science
Volume17
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

Cite this

Jaswal, V. K., Perez-Edgar, K. E., Kondrad, R. L., Palmquist, C. M., Cole, C. A., & Cole, C. E. (2014). Can't stop believing: Inhibitory control and resistance to misleading testimony. Developmental Science, 17(6), 965-976. https://doi.org/10.1111/desc.12187
Jaswal, Vikram K. ; Perez-Edgar, Koraly Elisa ; Kondrad, Robyn L. ; Palmquist, Carolyn M. ; Cole, Caitlin A. ; Cole, Claire E. / Can't stop believing : Inhibitory control and resistance to misleading testimony. In: Developmental Science. 2014 ; Vol. 17, No. 6. pp. 965-976.
@article{9aa7e0a59bf64dc9b9150c2e5fecbb97,
title = "Can't stop believing: Inhibitory control and resistance to misleading testimony",
abstract = "Why are some young children consistently willing to believe what they are told even when it conflicts with first-hand experience? In this study, we investigated the possibility that this deference reflects an inability to inhibit a prepotent response. Over the course of several trials, 2.5- to 3.5-year-olds (N = 58) heard an adult contradict their report of a simple event they had both witnessed, and children were asked to resolve this discrepancy. Those who repeatedly deferred to the adult's misleading testimony had more difficulty on an inhibitory control task involving spatial conflict than those who responded more skeptically. These results suggest that responding skeptically to testimony that conflicts with first-hand experience may be challenging for some young children because it requires inhibiting a normally appropriate bias to believe testimony. Some young children consistently believe what they are told even when it conflicts with something they have seen. We show that these 'deferential' children have more difficulty inhibiting a dominant response than 'skeptical' children who favor perceptual evidence. We suggest that not believing testimony can be challenging because it requires inhibiting a normally adaptive bias to believe information other people provide.",
author = "Jaswal, {Vikram K.} and Perez-Edgar, {Koraly Elisa} and Kondrad, {Robyn L.} and Palmquist, {Carolyn M.} and Cole, {Caitlin A.} and Cole, {Claire E.}",
year = "2014",
month = "11",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1111/desc.12187",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "17",
pages = "965--976",
journal = "Developmental Science",
issn = "1363-755X",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
number = "6",

}

Jaswal, VK, Perez-Edgar, KE, Kondrad, RL, Palmquist, CM, Cole, CA & Cole, CE 2014, 'Can't stop believing: Inhibitory control and resistance to misleading testimony', Developmental Science, vol. 17, no. 6, pp. 965-976. https://doi.org/10.1111/desc.12187

Can't stop believing : Inhibitory control and resistance to misleading testimony. / Jaswal, Vikram K.; Perez-Edgar, Koraly Elisa; Kondrad, Robyn L.; Palmquist, Carolyn M.; Cole, Caitlin A.; Cole, Claire E.

In: Developmental Science, Vol. 17, No. 6, 01.11.2014, p. 965-976.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Can't stop believing

T2 - Inhibitory control and resistance to misleading testimony

AU - Jaswal, Vikram K.

AU - Perez-Edgar, Koraly Elisa

AU - Kondrad, Robyn L.

AU - Palmquist, Carolyn M.

AU - Cole, Caitlin A.

AU - Cole, Claire E.

PY - 2014/11/1

Y1 - 2014/11/1

N2 - Why are some young children consistently willing to believe what they are told even when it conflicts with first-hand experience? In this study, we investigated the possibility that this deference reflects an inability to inhibit a prepotent response. Over the course of several trials, 2.5- to 3.5-year-olds (N = 58) heard an adult contradict their report of a simple event they had both witnessed, and children were asked to resolve this discrepancy. Those who repeatedly deferred to the adult's misleading testimony had more difficulty on an inhibitory control task involving spatial conflict than those who responded more skeptically. These results suggest that responding skeptically to testimony that conflicts with first-hand experience may be challenging for some young children because it requires inhibiting a normally appropriate bias to believe testimony. Some young children consistently believe what they are told even when it conflicts with something they have seen. We show that these 'deferential' children have more difficulty inhibiting a dominant response than 'skeptical' children who favor perceptual evidence. We suggest that not believing testimony can be challenging because it requires inhibiting a normally adaptive bias to believe information other people provide.

AB - Why are some young children consistently willing to believe what they are told even when it conflicts with first-hand experience? In this study, we investigated the possibility that this deference reflects an inability to inhibit a prepotent response. Over the course of several trials, 2.5- to 3.5-year-olds (N = 58) heard an adult contradict their report of a simple event they had both witnessed, and children were asked to resolve this discrepancy. Those who repeatedly deferred to the adult's misleading testimony had more difficulty on an inhibitory control task involving spatial conflict than those who responded more skeptically. These results suggest that responding skeptically to testimony that conflicts with first-hand experience may be challenging for some young children because it requires inhibiting a normally appropriate bias to believe testimony. Some young children consistently believe what they are told even when it conflicts with something they have seen. We show that these 'deferential' children have more difficulty inhibiting a dominant response than 'skeptical' children who favor perceptual evidence. We suggest that not believing testimony can be challenging because it requires inhibiting a normally adaptive bias to believe information other people provide.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84924624445&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84924624445&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1111/desc.12187

DO - 10.1111/desc.12187

M3 - Article

C2 - 24806881

AN - SCOPUS:84924624445

VL - 17

SP - 965

EP - 976

JO - Developmental Science

JF - Developmental Science

SN - 1363-755X

IS - 6

ER -