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The development of selective trust: an investigation on the effects of culture and social cognition


There is a predominant view in many cultures that children are prone to credulity and believe everything they are told. Recent evidence, however, demonstrates that children can identify when an informant is reliable and when he is not. More specifically, children prefer to learn new information from individuals with a reliable record (often provide accurate information) than those who are frequently ignorant or mistaken about a given situation. Therefore, the study of selective trust development can help to elucidate the psychological processes by which children acquire knowledge, as well as the universality of such processes. The present proposal has two main goals: a) to determine the relationship between selective trust in preschool children and their understanding of others' mental states; and b) to compare the emergence of selective trust in Brazilian and American children, given that social systems differ in their tolerance to lying and mistrust. Ninety Brazilian and 90 US children (3- and 4-year-olds) will be assessed in a selective trust task and by a scale of theory-of-mind tasks. By exploring such questions, the present proposal may bring an important contribution to the field of studies on sociocognitive development and, more broadly, to Developmental Psychology in Brazil and abroad, especially because it will be the first study investigating selective trust in two different cultures: American and Brazilian. (AU)

Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
SOUZA, DEBORA DE HOLLANDA; SUAREZ, SARAH; KOENIG, MELISSA ANN. Selective Trust and Theory of Mind in Brazilian Children: Effects of Culture or Socioeconomic Background?. JOURNAL OF COGNITION AND DEVELOPMENT, v. 22, n. 2 JAN 2021. Web of Science Citations: 0.

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