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Children's Understanding of Informational Access as Source of Knowledge

Heinz Wimmer, G.-Jürgen Hogrefe and Josef Perner
Child Development
Vol. 59, No. 2 (Apr., 1988), pp. 386-396
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Society for Research in Child Development
DOI: 10.2307/1130318
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1130318
Page Count: 11
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Children's Understanding of Informational Access as Source of Knowledge
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Abstract

A sharp improvement was found between 3 years and 5 years in children's understanding of the role of visual perception and linguistic communication in knowledge formation. Although children at any age were able to obtain knowledge and could reliably introspect on the existence of knowledge obtained through visual and linguistic information, most 3- and some 4-year-olds seemed completely ignorant about the causal connection between access to an informational source and resulting knowledge. They could not tell how they themselves had acquired a particular piece of knowledge (i. e., whether they had been shown or told). They were also incapable of assessing another person's knowledge of a fact on the basis of observing that person being deprived of or being given information about that fact.

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