Children's sensitivity to the conventionality of sources

Gil Diesendruck, Nurit Carmel, Lori Markson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Four studies examined preschoolers' sensitivity to agents' knowledge of conventional forms. Three-to 4-yearolds heard a speaker apply either conventional or wrong labels to familiar objects (Studies 1 and 2, N = 57) or peculiar but correct labels (Study 3, N = 19). When then asked by the speaker for the referent of a novel label, children exposed to an accurate labeler were more likely to choose an unfamiliar object than children exposed to an inaccurate labeler. Study 4 (N = 36) replicated these findings using object functions instead of labels. Children hold an assumption of conventionality with regard to both object labels and functions, but they are selective in their application of this assumption toward agents who are knowledgeable of conventions in these domains.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)652-668
Number of pages17
JournalChild Development
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2010


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