The University of Sussex

Using what you know to make judgments: some preliminary developmental results

Stephanie Thornton

This paper reports three experiments examining age related change int he tendency to consult what you know in making judgments. Tversky and Kahneman have shown that adult frequency judgments are based on relevant recall: biased recall for the relevant material yields correspondingly biased judgements. Children of six to ten years presented with a version of Tversky and Kahneman's task do not always show this effect. Eight to ten year olds disregard recall in making judgements with some materials, whilst consulting recall with others. Six year old children disregard their relevant recall unless directly cued to consult it. The data suggest a striking developmental change in how knowledge is used in making judgments. Results are discussed in relation to their implications for metacognitive development.


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