Multifaceted information-seeking motives in children

Molinaro, G., Cogliati Dezza, I., Bühler, S.K., Moutsiana, C. and Sharot, T. 2023. Multifaceted information-seeking motives in children. Nature Communications . 14 (1) 5505. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-023-40971-x

TitleMultifaceted information-seeking motives in children
TypeJournal article
AuthorsMolinaro, G., Cogliati Dezza, I., Bühler, S.K., Moutsiana, C. and Sharot, T.
AbstractFrom an early age, children need to gather information to learn about their environment. Deciding which knowledge to pursue can be difficult because information can serve several, sometimes competing, purposes. Here, we examine the developmental trajectories of such diverse information-seeking motives. Over five experiments involving 521 children (aged 4-12), we find that school-age children integrate three key factors into their information-seeking choices: whether information reduces uncertainty, is useful in directing action, and is likely to be positive. Choices that likely reveal positive information and are useful for action emerge as early as age 4, followed by choices that reduce uncertainty (at ~age 5). Our results suggest that motives related to usefulness and uncertainty reduction become stronger with age, while the tendency to seek positive news does not show a statistically significant change throughout development. This study reveals how the relative importance of diverging, sometimes conflicting, information-seeking motives emerges throughout development.
KeywordsHumans
Uncertainty
Motivation
Learning
Knowledge
Child
Information Seeking Behavior
Article number5505
JournalNature Communications
Journal citation14 (1)
ISSN2041-1723
Year2023
PublisherNature Publishing Group
Publisher's version
License
CC BY 4.0
File Access Level
Open (open metadata and files)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-023-40971-x
PubMed ID37679315
Publication dates
Published online07 Sep 2023
Published in print01 Sep 2023
Project100229/Z/12/Z
FunderWellcome Trust
Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellowship
LicenseCC BY
File41467_2023_Article_40971.pdf

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