Babies Don't Remember How They Learned Things

Alison has done other experiments that point in a similar direction. For example, three-year-olds seem to be unable to remember how they learned about something, even when the events took place only a few moments before. In one study the experimenter hid a cup under a cloth "tunnel," a wire arch covered with cloth, with an opening at either end. Children found out what was underneath the tunnel in one of three ways: they picked up the tunnel and saw the cup, they put their hands in the tunnel through the openings and felt it, or the experimenter simply told them, "There's a cup inside." Then she asked the children what was under the tunnel. They always got that answer right. But the next question was harder. She asked, "How do you know there's a cup in the tunnel? Did you feel it, or did you see it, or did we tell you about it?" Children were confused about how they had found out about the object. They said, for example, that they had seen the cup when actually she had told them about it. (These experiments have obvious implications for very young children's eyewitness testimony. Children aren't any more likely to lie than adults, and they don't confuse fantasy and reality. but they may well confuse what they saw and what a well-meaning lawyer or social worker told them.)


Around the age of three, children are unable to explain how they learned things, calling into question their testimony in legal cases since their memories can be implanted without knowing their origin.

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 The Scientist in the Crib: What Early Learning Tells Us About the Mind
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Gopnik , Meltzoff , Kuhl (2001-01-01), The Scientist in the Crib: What Early Learning Tells Us About the Mind, Harper Paperbacks, Retrieved on 2011-07-06
Folksonomies: education parenting pregnancy babies children infancy