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Journal Article

Citation

Betsch T, Lehmann A, Lindow S, Lang A, Schoemann M. Dev. Psychol. 2016; 52(2): 311-325.

Affiliation

Department of Psychology, University of Erfurt.

Copyright

(Copyright © 2016, American Psychological Association)

DOI

10.1037/dev0000077

PMID

26569565

Abstract

Adaptive decision making in probabilistic environments requires individuals to use probabilities as weights in predecisional information searches and/or when making subsequent choices. Within a child-friendly computerized environment (Mousekids), we tracked 205 children's (105 children 5-6 years of age and 100 children 9-10 years of age) and 103 adults' (age range: 21-22 years) search behaviors and decisions under different probability dispersions (.17;.33,.83 vs. .50,.67,.83) and constraint conditions (instructions to limit search: yes vs. no). All age groups limited their depth of search when instructed to do so and when probability dispersion was high (range:.17-.83). Unlike adults, children failed to use probabilities as weights for their searches, which were largely not systematic. When examining choices, however, elementary school children (unlike preschoolers) systematically used probabilities as weights in their decisions. This suggests that an intuitive understanding of probabilities and the capacity to use them as weights during integration is not a sufficient condition for applying simple selective search strategies that place one's focus on weight distributions.

PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved.


Language: en

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