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If children were little scientists who learn best through firsthand observations and mini-experiments, how would a child discover that the earth is round—never mind conceive of heaven as a place someone might go after death? Trusting What You’re Told begins by reminding us of a basic truth: Most of what we know we learned from others.
Children learn a great deal from other people, including history, science and religion, as well as language itself. Although our informants are usually well-intentioned, they can be wrong, and sometimes people deceive deliberately. As soon as children can learn from what others tell them, they need to be able to evaluate the likely truth of such testimony. This book is the first of its kind to provide an overview of the field of testimony research, summarizing and discussing the latest findings into how children make such evaluations – when do they trust what people tell them, and when are they skeptical? The nine chapters are organized according to the extent to which testimony is necessary for children to learn the matter in question – from cases where children are entirely dependent on the testimony of others, to cases where testimony is merely a convenient way of learning. Chapters also consider situations where reliance on testimony can lead a child astray, and the need for children to learn to be vigilant to deception, to ask questions appropriately, and to evaluate what they are told. With an international range of contributors, and two concluding commentaries which integrate the findings within a broader perspective of research on child development, the book provides a thorough overview of this emerging sub-field. Trust and Skepticism will be essential reading for researchers, academic teachers and advanced students working in the areas of cognitive development and language development, and will also be of great interest to educationists concerned with nursery and primary education.
Metacognition refers to the awareness individuals have of their own mental processes (also referred to as ' thinking about thinking'). In the past thirty years it has become a significant interdisciplinary area of research in the cognitive sciences. The Foundations of Metacognition is concerned with three particular issues central to the topic of metacognition; do nonhuman animals process the ability to monitor their own mental actions? If metacognitionis unique to humans, then at what stage in development does it occur; how can we distinguish between cognitive and metacognitive processes? This book brings together leading cognitive scientists carrying outwork in developmental psychology, animal behaviour, and philosophy, and is intended for students and researchers in cognitive and developmental psychology, as well as philosophy of mind.
Developmental psychologists coined the term "theory of mind" to describe how we understand our shifting mental states in daily life. Over the past twenty years researchers have provided rich, provocative data showing that from an early age, children develop a sophisticated and consistent "theory of mind" by attributing their desires, beliefs, and emotions to themselves and to others. Remarkably, infants barely a few months old are able to attend closely to other humans; two-year-olds can articulate the desires and feelings of others and comfort those in distress; and three- and four-year-olds can talk about thoughts abstractly and engage in lies and trickery. This book provides a deeper examination of how "theory of mind" develops. Building on his pioneering research in The Child's Theory of Mind (1990), Henry M. Wellman reports on all that we have learned in the past twenty years with chapters on evolution and the brain bases of theory of mind, and updated explanations of theory theory and later theoretical developments, including how children conceive of extraordinary minds such as those belonging to superheroes or supernatural beings. Engaging and accessibly written, Wellman's work will appeal especially to scholars and students working in psychology, philosophy, cultural studies, and social cognition.
This book presents new findings on the role of active learning in infants’ and young children’s cognitive and linguistic development. Chapters discuss evidence-based models, identify possible neurological mechanisms supporting active learning, pinpoint children’s early understanding of learning, and trace children’s recognition of their own learning. Chapters also address how children shape their lexicon, covering a range of active learning practices including interactions with parents, teachers, and peers; curiosity and exploration during play; seeking information from other people and their surroundings; and asking questions. In addition, processes of selective learning are discussed, from learning new words and trusting others in acquiring information to weighing evidence and accepting ambiguity. Topics featured in this book include: Infants’ active role in language learning. The process of active word learning. Understanding when and how explanation promotes exploration. How conversations with parents can affect children’s word associations. Evidence evaluation for active learning and teaching in early childhood. Bilingual children and their role as language brokers for their parents. Active Learning from Infancy to Childhood is a must-have resource for researchers, clinicians and related professionals, and graduate students in developmental psychology, psycholinguistics, educational psychology, and early childhood education.
This is the first book to examine social learning and innovation in hunter–gatherers from around the world. More is known about social learning in chimpanzees and nonhuman primates than is known about social learning in hunter–gatherers, a way of life that characterized most of human history. The book describes diverse patterns of learning and teaching behaviors in contemporary hunter–gatherers from the perspectives of cultural anthropology, ecological anthropology, biological anthropology, and developmental psychology. The book addresses several theoretical issues including the learning hypothesis which suggests that the fate of Homo sapiens and Neanderthals in the last glacial period might have been due to the differences in learning ability. It has been unequivocally claimed that social learning is intrinsically important for human beings; however, the characteristics of human learning remain under a dense fog despite innumerable studies with children from urban–industrial cultures. Controversy continues on problems such as: do hunter–gatherers teach? If so, what types of teaching occur, who does it, how often, under what contexts, and so on. The book explores the most basic and intrinsic aspects of social learning as well as the foundation of innovative activities in everyday activities of contemporary hunter–gatherer people across the earth. The book examines how hunter-gatherer core values, such as gender and age egalitarianism and extensive sharing of food and childcare are transmitted and acquired by children. Chapters are grouped into five sections: 1) theoretical perspectives of learning in hunter–gatherers, 2) modes and processes of social learning in hunter–gatherers, 3) innovation and cumulative culture, 4) play and other cultural contexts of social learning and innovation, 5) biological contexts of learning and innovation. Ideas and concepts based on the data gathered through an intensive fieldwork by the authors will give much insight into the mechanisms and meanings of learning and education in modern humans.
To get the best answer-in business, in life-you have to ask the best possible question. Innovation expert Warren Berger shows that ability is both an art and a science. It may be the most underappreciated tool at our disposal, one we learn to use well in infancy-and then abandon as we grow older. Critical to learning, innovation, success, even to happiness-yet often discouraged in our schools and workplaces-it can unlock new business opportunities and reinvent industries, spark creative insights at many levels, and provide a transformative new outlook on life. It is the ability to question-and to do so deeply, imaginatively, and “beautifully.” In this fascinating exploration of the surprising power of questioning, innovation expert Warren Berger reveals that powerhouse businesses like Google, Nike, and Netflix, as well as hot Silicon Valley startups like Pandora and Airbnb, are fueled by the ability to ask fundamental, game-changing questions. But Berger also shares human stories of people using questioning to solve everyday problems-from “How can I adapt my career in a time of constant change?” to “How can I step back from the daily rush and figure out what really makes me happy?” By showing how to approach questioning with an open, curious mind and a willingness to work through a series of “Why,” “What if,” and “How” queries, Berger offers an inspiring framework of how we can all arrive at better solutions, fresh possibilities, and greater success in business and life.

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