Young Children's Ability to Produce Valid and Relevant Counter-Arguments.
In collaborative problem solving, children produce and evaluate arguments for proposals. We investigated whether 3- and 5-year-olds (N = 192) can produce and evaluate arguments against those arguments (i.e., counter-arguments). In Study 1, each child within a peer dyad was privately given a reason to prefer one over another solution to a task. One child, however, was given further information that would refute the reasoning of their partner. Five-year-olds, but not 3-year-olds, identified and produced valid and relevant counter-arguments. In Study 2, 3-year-olds were given discourse training (discourse that contrasted valid and invalid counter-arguments) and then given the same problem-solving tasks. After training, 3-year-olds could also identify and produce valid and relevant counter-arguments. Thus, participating in discourse about reasons facilitates children's counter-argumentation.
Köymen, B; O'Madagain, C; Domberg, A; Tomasello, M
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