The “Recency Effect” Is Especially Pronounced In Children – An Important Finding For Researchers And Parents


As father to an 18-month-old toddler (writes Bradley Busch), I would love to know exactly what my son is thinking. Along with many parents, one of the ways I try to find out is to ask him questions of the variety “Do you want X or Y?” But does his answer to this type of question actually reveal his preference or is it a more a reflection of a quirky cognitive bias that is more powerful in children than adults?

Keen to test if the response biases found in adults also affect young children, or if one of the effects is more dominant, a team led by Emily Sumner conducted two experiments and published their findings in a recent paper in PLOS One fantastically titled “Cake or Broccoli: Recency Biases Children’s Verbal Responses”. Continue reading →

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