Cognitive Science Colloquium - Julia Leonard

Feb 22, 2024, 12:00 pm1:00 pm



Event Description

"How children decide what’s worth their effort"

Abstract: Every day children have to decide what is worth their effort - when to persist through challenges versus when to give up and move on to a different endeavor.  Simultaneously, caregivers are trying to figure out when and how to help children with these obstacles. How do they make these decisions? Across three studies, I show that both children and caregivers allocate effort by reasoning about internal (conceptual) and external (social) factors. However, I present evidence these internal and external factors can sometimes be inaccurate or misaligned across contexts and individuals, leading to behaviors that can inadvertently demotivate children. Taken together, I argue that to help children effectively allocate effort, it is critical to understand not only their minds but also the minds of the adults who raise them.