Trusting others: shared reality in testimonial learning

Annelise Pesch, Sarah Suárez, Melissa Koenig

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Much of early learning depends on others, and the transmission of testimony presents children with a range of opportunities to learn about and from other people. Much work has focused on children's ability to select or prefer particular sources of information based on various epistemic (e.g. accuracy, reliability, perceptual access, expertise) and moral (e.g. benevolence, group membership, honesty) characteristics. Understanding the mechanisms by which such selective preferences emerge has been couched primarily in frameworks that treat testimony as a source of inductive evidence, and that treat children's trust as an evidence-based inference. However, there are other distinct interpersonal considerations that support children's trust towards others, considerations that influence who children learn from as well as other practical decisions. Broadening our conception of trust and considering the interpersonal reasons we have to trust others can both strengthen our current understanding of the role that trust plays in children's learning and practical decisions as well as provide a more holistic picture of how children participate in a shared reality with their family, peers, and communities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38-41
Number of pages4
JournalCurrent Opinion in Psychology
StatePublished - Oct 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by NICHD grant 5R01HD076898-04 to M.A. Koenig, as well as by the support of grant from the John Templeton Foundation . The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of NIH or the John Templeton Foundation.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017


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