Cognitive Science 40 (3):697-722 (2016)

Tamar Kushnir
Cornell University
Young children's social learning is a topic of great interest. Here, we examined preschoolers’ help-seeking as a social information gathering activity that may optimize and support children's opportunities for learning. In a toy assembly task, we assessed each child's competency at assembling toys and the difficulty of each step of the task. We hypothesized that children's help-seeking would be a function of both initial competency and task difficulty. The results confirmed this prediction; all children were more likely to seek assistance on difficult steps and less competent children sought assistance more often. Moreover, the magnitude of the help-seeking requests similarly related to both competency and difficulty. The results provide support for viewing children's help-seeking as an information gathering activity, indicating that preschoolers flexibly adjust the level and amount of assistance to optimize their opportunities for learning
Keywords Preschoolers  Help‐seeking  Scaffolding  Information gathering  Social learning  Active learning
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DOI 10.1111/cogs.12245
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Side by Side: Learning by Observing and Pitching In.Ruth Paradise & Barbara Rogoff - 2009 - Ethos: Journal of the Society for Psychological Anthropology 37 (1):102-138.

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