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Dress Nicer = Know More? Young Children’s Knowledge Attribution and Selective Learning Based on How Others Dress

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journal contribution
posted on 24.05.2021, 20:29 by Lili Ma, Kyla P. McDonald
This research explored whether children judge the knowledge state of others and selectively learn novel information from them based on how they dress. The results indicated that 4- and 6-year-olds identified a formally dressed individual as more knowledgeable about new things in general than a casually dressed one (Study 1). Moreover, children displayed an overall preference to seek help from a formally dressed individual rather than a casually dressed one when learning about novel objects and animals (Study 2). These findings are discussed in relation to the halo effect, and may have important implications for child educators regarding how instructor dress might influence young students’ knowledge attribution and learning preferences.