When Younger Learners Can Be Better (or at Least More Open-Minded) Than Older Ones

Alison Gopnik, Thomas L. Griffiths, Christopher G. Lucas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

57 Scopus citations

Abstract

We describe a surprising developmental pattern we found in studies involving three different kinds of problems and age ranges. Younger learners are better than older ones at learning unusual abstract causal principles from evidence. We explore two factors that might contribute to this counterintuitive result. The first is that as our knowledge grows, we become less open to new ideas. The second is that younger minds and brains are intrinsically more flexible and exploratory, although they are also less efficient as a result.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-92
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Directions in Psychological Science
Volume24
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 9 2015
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychology(all)

Keywords

  • Bayesian models
  • causal learning
  • cognitive development
  • simulated annealing

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'When Younger Learners Can Be Better (or at Least More Open-Minded) Than Older Ones'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this