ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2014, Vol. 22 ›› Issue (1): 86-96.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2014.00086

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Epistemic Trust: How Preschoolers Selectively Learn from Others

ZHANG Yaohua;ZHU Liqi   

  1. (1 Key laboratory of Behavioral Science, Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Science, Beijing 100101, China) (2 University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China)
  • Received:2013-05-28 Online:2014-01-15 Published:2014-01-15
  • Contact: ZHU Liqi


Human individual acquires knowledge largely via communication, i.e., others’ testimony. That is especially true during childhood. Developmental psychologists have recently devoted to whether and how preschoolers trust other’s testimony. On the one hand, preschoolers tend to accept what others tell them, a phenomenon called credulity bias. However, on the other hand, children show great competence in selectively learning from others. They are able to use numerous cues to guarantee more reliable information, including epistemic cues and social cues. As with controversy over infants’ theory of mind, there are two approaches to underlying mechanisms of epistemic trust, concerning whether children can appreciate informants’ mental states. Although the research of epistemic trust has made substantial progress, there are lots of topics that are worthy further investigation.

Key words: epistemic trust, credulity bias, theory of mind