Children’s Selective Use of Peer Informants: Criteria for Making Information-Seeking Decisions

Andrew J. Stremmel, Gary W. Ladd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Children from preschool, first-grade, and fourth-grade classrooms (N = 60) were randomly assigned to two different instructional conditions to assess (a) their recognition of the significance of knowledge versus physical (age or gender) criteria for making information-seeking decisions and (b) their reliance on these criteria in actual need-for-information situations. The results suggest that older children are more likely than younger children to recognize the salience of a peer’s knowledge for making information-seeking decisions. Depending on the context, however, even young children may be able to view a peer’s knowledge of a particular task as a dimension that takes precedence over such competing cues as gender or age. Age differences in children’s tendencies to recognize and apply these criteria are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)541-550
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Genetic Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1985
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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