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Pedagogical cues and action complexity modulate transmission of information in two-year-old children

Research output: Contribution to conference - Without ISBN/ISSN Posterpeer-review

Publication date5/01/2018
<mark>Original language</mark>English
EventBudapest CEU Conference on Cognitive Development 2018 - Central European University, Budapest, Hungary
Duration: 3/01/20185/01/2018


ConferenceBudapest CEU Conference on Cognitive Development 2018
Abbreviated titleBCCCD18
Internet address


Two-year-old children are more likely to transmit new information after learning it in a pedagogical rather than an intentional but non-pedagogical context (Vredenburgh, Kushnir, & Casasola, 2015). In the present study we asked whether action complexity could mediate the effect of pedagogical cues on information transmission. Twenty-four-month-old children (N = 31) interacted with two unfamiliar adults who demonstrated them two actions leading to a comparable outcome on two novel toys. One of the demonstrators showed a simpler action in an intentional, but non-pedagogical manner, while the other showed a more complex action in a pedagogical manner by using verbal cues, direct eye contact, and child-directed speech. Following demonstration, children were equally likely to imitate both actions, but achieved the action outcome significantly more often with the simpler action. The children were then encouraged to demonstrate either action to an ignorant familiar adult who was not present during demonstrations. While children showed both actions during transmission, they were significantly more likely to demonstrate the simple action, even though it was presented without the explicit pedagogical cues. These results suggest that action complexity may undermine the role of explicit pedagogical cues in information transmission mechanisms in infancy.