Cristine H. Legare

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Three studies examined the co-existence of natural and supernatural explanations for illness and disease transmission, from a developmental perspective. The participants (5-, 7-, 11-, and 15-year-olds and adults; N = 366) were drawn from 2 Sesotho-speaking South African communities, where Western biomedical and traditional healing frameworks were both(More)
Little is known about how components of executive function (EF) jointly and uniquely predict different aspects of academic achievement and how this may vary across cultural contexts. In the current study, 119 Chinese and 139 American preschoolers were tested on a battery of EF tasks (i.e., inhibition, working memory, and attentional control) as well as(More)
What events trigger causal explanatory reasoning in young children? Children's explanations could be triggered by either consistent events (suggesting that explanations serve a confirmatory function) or inconsistent events (suggesting that they promote discovery of new information). In 2 studies with preschool children (N = 80), events that were consistent(More)
Explaining inconsistency may serve as an important mechanism for driving the process of causal learning. But how might this process generate amended beliefs? One way that explaining inconsistency may promote discovery is by guiding exploratory, hypothesis-testing behavior. In order to investigate this, a study with young children ranging in age from 2 to 6(More)
Although often conceptualized in contradictory terms, the common assumption that natural and supernatural explanations are incompatible is psychologically inaccurate. Instead, there is considerable evidence that the same individuals use both natural and supernatural explanations to interpret the very same events and that there are multiple ways in which(More)
What kinds of cues increase imitative fidelity in early childhood? The effects of multiple models and verbal framing were examined in preschool children (N = 259, 3-6-year-olds). Each participant was presented with one of eight possible combinations of type of modeling and verbal frame. The type of modeling involved: (i) a single model offering two(More)
The present studies compare young children's explanations and predictions for the biological phenomenon of contamination. In Study 1, 36 preschoolers and 24 adults heard vignettes concerning contamination, and were asked either to make a prediction or to provide an explanation. Even 3-year-olds readily supplied contamination-based explanations, and most(More)
Children's assessment of the value of different sources of information about psychological traits was investigated among 6- to 7-year-olds and 10- to 11-year-olds across 5 studies (N = 330). Older children were more likely than younger children to reject self-report as a source of information about the highly evaluative traits smart and honest, but no such(More)
Essentialism is the belief that certain characteristics (of individuals or categories) may be relatively stable, unchanging, likely to be present at birth, and biologically based. The current studies examined how different essentialist beliefs interrelate. For example, does thinking that a property is innate imply that the property cannot be changed? Four(More)
a r t i c l e i n f o This study examined task specific effects of third-party ostracism on imitative fidelity in early childhood (N = 96, 3–6-year-olds). Start-and end-states of action sequences were manipulated to examine the effects of priming third-party ostracism versus affiliation on children's imitation of instrumental (i.e., action sequence with a(More)