Overoptimism about future knowledge: Early arrogance?

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Overoptimism about future knowledge: Early arrogance?

Three studies explored whether young children (5–7 years) have more optimistic views of their future knowledge than older children (8–12 years) and adults. In Study 1, younger children were more likely than older children and adults to expect greater knowledge in both young and mature protagonists. Both groups of children saw knowledge rising at a faster rate into adulthood than adult participants did. All ages judged moral knowledge as much easier to acquire than other types of knowledge, such as artifacts. In Study 2, all children saw their own future knowledge in especially optimistic terms in comparison to ratings by adults, and the older children exhibited a self-enhancement bias. Study 3 found an overall preference for the acquisition of positively valenced future knowledge, particularly for the 8- to 12-year olds and in the domain of morality, suggesting pragmatic underpinnings for these judgments.

The Journal of PosiTive Psychology, 2017 vol. 12, no. 1, 36–46

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