Focusing on different informant characteristics by situation: The dimensions of benevolence and competence in children's trust judgment

Mio Miyoshi, Wakako Sanefuji

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Children use informant characteristics, such as competence or benevolence, in trust judgment. Previous studies have examined the characteristics that children prioritize in trust judgment, but findings have been conflicting. Since people possess and tap into each characteristic in their daily lives as the situation demands, children may adjust the characteristics that they choose to rely on depending on the specific situation rather than always prioritizing either of the characteristics. Thus, the present study investigated children's trust judgment in different situations requiring either competence or benevolence. Additionally, children's preference for competence or benevolence was examined to explore its effect on trust judgment. Results showed that children were more likely to select a competent rather than a benevolent person in situations requiring competence and vice versa in situations requiring benevolence. Children preferred the benevolent person rather than the competent person; such preference did not appear to affect their selection of informants across various situations. In summary, children might focus on the different characteristics of the informant in accordance with the situation. Their preference for benevolence might relate to a preference for prosociality. This, in turn, could relate to enhanced sensitivity to benevolence in early childhood.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1231-1239
Number of pages9
JournalSocial Development
Volume31
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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