Psychology Colloquium: How children reason about evidence in a social world

Speaker: Luke Butler, University of Maryland

Title: How children reason about evidence in a social world

Abstract: A common metaphor for thinking about cognitive development is the "little scientist." On this view, children approach the world much like scientists do: formulating hypotheses, generating and keeping track of data, and making inductive inferences on the basis of that data. But this view often misses the fact that science is a fundamentally social process, with the evidence we notice, pay attention to, and use as the basis for inference shaped by social context in which they encounter it. In this talk, I will discuss two lines of research showing how children reason about what I call the social history of evidence. I will show both that children use social cues to guide their reasoning from evidence, and that children use their understanding of evidence and inference to guide their social reasoning. I will conclude by discussing implications for science education and science literacy.

Host: Rachel Barr

Friday, January 12 at 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Maguire Hall, 102
37th and O St., N.W., Washington

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Students, Faculty/Staff


Georgetown College, Psychology


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Department of Psychology

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