Children's explicit assessments of reliability influence their willingness to learn novel labels

Sheila Krogh-Jespersen*, Catharine H. Echols

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This study examined how explicitly evaluating another person's performance influences 3.5-year-old children's willingness to learn from that person. Children interacted with a speaker who presented a series of familiar objects and labeled them either accurately or inaccurately. After establishing reliability, the speaker taught nonsense labels for two additional familiar objects. Half of the children were asked to explicitly judge whether the speaker was reliable before the novel labels were presented; half were asked to do so at the end of the experiment. Children who were given an opportunity to verbally assess the speaker's accuracy prior to label learning were more likely than those evaluating afterward to avoid learning from the previously inaccurate labeler. These findings show that explicitly evaluating their knowledge can reduce children's willingness to learn words from an unreliable source, expanding on prior research showing influences of explicit evaluations on children's problem solving.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)197-206
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Experimental Child Psychology
StatePublished - Jun 1 2018


  • Explicit judgment
  • Language development
  • Second label learning
  • Self-explanation
  • Speaker reliability
  • Word learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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