Review of Philosophy and Psychology

, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 849–861 | Cite as

Children’s Decision to Transmit Information is Guided by their Evaluation of the Nature of that Information

  • Samuel RonfardEmail author
  • Paul L. Harris


Recent findings have shown that children’s teaching is guided by their evaluation of what a pupil does versus does not know. While children certainly teach to remedy a knowledge gap between themselves and a learner, we argue that children’s appraisal of the nature of the knowledge that they are seeking to convey and not just whether a knowledge gap exists plays an important role in children’s decision to transmit information. Specifically, we argue that children are more likely to transmit information a pupil does not know in at least three cases: if that information is difficult for the learner to acquire on her own, generic rather than specific, and normative rather than descriptive.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychological and Brain SciencesBoston UniversityBostonUSA
  2. 2.Graduate School of EducationHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA

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