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Judging Who Knows Best about Yourself: Developmental Change in Citing the Self across Middle Childhood

Sarah Burton and Peter Mitchell
Child Development
Vol. 74, No. 2 (Mar. - Apr., 2003), pp. 426-443
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Society for Research in Child Development
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3696322
Page Count: 18
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Judging Who Knows Best about Yourself: Developmental Change in Citing the Self across Middle Childhood
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Abstract

Rosenberg (1979) reported that children under the age of 11 do not recognize that they are the authority on their own self-knowledge, placing authority instead with adults. However, results from Studies 1 and 2, in which 86 and 47 children, respectively, from predominantly White low- to middle-income communities participated, suggest that the shift from reliance on adults to self occurs between the ages of 5 and 10 years. The studies also demonstrate parallel development in judging own and other people's self-knowledge. Study 3, in which 96 children from predominantly White low- to middle-income communities participated, shows the beginnings of sophisticated understanding in children aged 5 to 7 years, who differentiate between information about the self that is best judged by the self and information that can be judged by others. Suggestions are made as to why this aspect of understanding minds develops later than other aspects of psychological understanding.

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