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Is the bias for function-based explanations culturally universal? Children from China endorse teleological explanations of natural phenomena
Schachner, Adena1; Zhu, Liqi2; Li, Jing2; Kelemen, Deborah3; A. Schachner
First AuthorSchachner, Adena
2017-05-01
Source PublicationJOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL CHILD PSYCHOLOGY
Correspondent Emailschachner@ucsd.edu
ISSN0022-0965
SubtypeArticle
Volume157Issue:0Pages:29-48
Contribution Rank2
Abstract

Young children in Western cultures tend to endorse teleological (function-based) explanations broadly across many domains, even when scientifically unwarranted. For instance, in contrast to Western adults, they explicitly endorse the idea that mountains were created for climbing, just like hats were created for warmth. Is this bias a product of culture or a product of universal aspects of human cognition? In two studies, we explored whether adults and children in Mainland China, a highly secular, non-Western culture, show a bias for teleological explanations. When explaining both object properties (Experiment 1) and origins (Experiment 2), we found evidence that they do. Whereas Chinese adults restricted teleological explanations to scientifically warranted cases, Chinese children endorsed them more broadly, extending them across different kinds of natural phenomena. This bias decreased with rising grade level across first, second, and fourth grades. Overall, these data provide evidence that children's bias for teleological explanations is not solely a product of Western Abrahamic cultures. Instead, it extends to other cultures, including the East Asian secular culture of modern-day China This suggests that the bias for function-based explanations may be driven by universal aspects of human cognition. (C) 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

KeywordCognitive development Cross-cultural Teleology Religion Relational reasoning Explanation
DOI10.1016/j.jecp.2016.12.006
URL查看原文
Indexed BySSCI
Language英语
Funding OrganizationTempleton World Charity Foundation(TTWCFF0020-WP1) ; National Institutes of Health (NIH) Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development(5F32HD075570)
WOS Research AreaPsychology
WOS SubjectPsychology, Developmental ; Psychology, Experimental
WOS IDWOS:000394628100003
WOS HeadingsSocial Sciences
WOS KeywordCOGNITIVE-DEVELOPMENT ; FOLK RELIGION ; INFANTS ; DESIGN ; ADULTS ; WORLD ; PREFERENCE ; ARTIFACTS ; BELIEFS ; SCIENCE
Citation statistics
Document Type期刊论文
Identifierhttp://ir.psych.ac.cn/handle/311026/21301
Collection认知与发展心理学研究室
Corresponding AuthorA. Schachner
Affiliation1.Univ Calif San Diego, Dept Psychol, La Jolla, CA 92093 USA
2.Chinese Acad Sci, Inst Psychol, Beijing 100101, Peoples R China
3.Boston Univ, Dept Psychol & Brain Sci, Boston, MA 02215 USA
Recommended Citation
GB/T 7714
Schachner, Adena,Zhu, Liqi,Li, Jing,et al. Is the bias for function-based explanations culturally universal? Children from China endorse teleological explanations of natural phenomena[J]. JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL CHILD PSYCHOLOGY,2017,157(0):29-48.
APA Schachner, Adena,Zhu, Liqi,Li, Jing,Kelemen, Deborah,&A. Schachner.(2017).Is the bias for function-based explanations culturally universal? Children from China endorse teleological explanations of natural phenomena.JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL CHILD PSYCHOLOGY,157(0),29-48.
MLA Schachner, Adena,et al."Is the bias for function-based explanations culturally universal? Children from China endorse teleological explanations of natural phenomena".JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL CHILD PSYCHOLOGY 157.0(2017):29-48.
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