Young Children's Ability to Produce Valid and Relevant Counter-Arguments.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

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.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Köymen, B; O'Madagain, C; Domberg, A; Tomasello, M

Published Date

  • May 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 91 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 685 - 693

PubMed ID

  • 31729752

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1467-8624

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0009-3920

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/cdev.13338


  • eng