Overestimation of Knowledge About Word Meanings: The “Misplaced Meaning” Effect

Cognitive Science 38 (8):1604-1633 (2014)
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Abstract

Children and adults may not realize how much they depend on external sources in understanding word meanings. Four experiments investigated the existence and developmental course of a “Misplaced Meaning” effect, wherein children and adults overestimate their knowledge about the meanings of various words by underestimating how much they rely on outside sources to determine precise reference. Studies 1 and 2 demonstrate that children and adults show a highly consistent MM effect, and that it is stronger in young children. Study 3 demonstrates that adults are explicitly aware of the availability of outside knowledge, and that this awareness may be related to the strength of the MM effect. Study 4 rules out general overconfidence effects by examining a metalinguistic task in which adults are well calibrated

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Précis of how children learn the meanings of words.Paul Bloom - 2001 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (6):1095-1103.

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