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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Revising Core Beliefs in Young Children


A set of fundamental beliefs governs our reasoning about objects and agents since infancy. Studies have shown that infants and children show enhanced exploration and learning when they observe apparent violations of these beliefs. However, little is known about whether these beliefs can be revised given counterevidence. In the present experiments, we demonstrate that 4- to 6-year-old children can revise their most fundamental beliefs in the physical domain (Experiment 1) and the psychological domain (Experiment 2) when they observe multiple pieces of belief-violating evidence.

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