Practice what you preach: How adults’ actions, outcomes, and testimony affect preschoolers’ persistence
Author(s)Leonard, Julia Anne; Garcia, Andrea; Schulz, Laura E
How Adults’ Actions, Outcomes, and Testimony Affect Preschoolers’ Persistence
MetadataShow full item record
Across four experiments, we looked at how 4‐ and 5‐year‐olds' (n = 520) task persistence was affected by observations of adult actions (high or low effort), outcomes (success or failure), and testimony (setting expectations—“This will be hard,” pep talks—“You can do this,” value statements—“Trying hard is important,” and baseline). Across experiments, outcomes had the biggest impact: preschoolers consistently tried harder after seeing the adult succeed than fail. Additionally, adult effort affected children’s persistence, but only when the adult succeeded. Finally, children’s persistence was highest when the adult both succeeded and practiced what she preached: exerting effort while testifying to its value.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Leonard, Julia A. et al. "Practice what you preach: How adults’ actions, outcomes, and testimony affect preschoolers’ persistence." Child Development (September 2019): 1-18 © 2019 Society for Research in Child Development
Author's final manuscript