Does your sibling run for advice to your parents rather than you? Welcome to the psychological world of younger kids. According to a study, children don’t trust peers when it comes to learning a new game and turn to adults to learn them instead.
Hannes Rakoczy from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany tested 44 children aged three and four years.
The children were shown a video of an invented game called Daxing, in which either a boy or a man argued over the correct way to ‘dax’. The child was then asked to ‘dax’, and the method they chose to use was recorded.
Children were also shown a puppet, who said it was his time to ‘dax’. The puppet performed ‘daxing’ either in the way the boy in the film or the man in the film did it, and the children’s reactions were recorded.
Researchers found that the children imitated the adult's method of ‘daxing’ significantly more often than they imitated the boy’s method.
Children were also more likely to intervene when the puppet performed ‘daxing’ using the boy’s method - protesting that the puppet was ‘daxing’ wrongly.
Rakoczy said: “The results from our study suggest that children prefer to learn from adults rather than other children when it comes to rule-governed activities like learning a new game.”
“They also expect other people to learn and perform actions in the way that the adults do, demonstrated by the expectation that the puppet would also follow the adult actor's actions and not the boy’s,” Rakoczy added, according to a release of the British Psychological Society.