Children use conversation strategies to learn

October 12th, 2010  |  by  |  Published in Research News

woman and child sitting on beach talking

By age 2, children contribute actively to the process of learning about the world around them, seeking causal information and using specific conversational strategies to obtain it, suggests University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Assistant Professor of Psychology Brandy Frazier.

Working with colleagues at the University of Michigan, Frazier examined transcripts of preschoolers’ conversations at home and in a laboratory setting.

The children were more satisfied when they received explanatory answers to their “how” and “why” questions, they report in the journal Child Development. Children who didn’t receive explanations seemed dissatisfied, often repeating their original questions or providing alternative explanations themselves.

Read the abstract.

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