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Child Dev. 2019 May;90(3):924-939. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12960. Epub 2017 Sep 18.

Intelligence and Neurophysiological Markers of Error Monitoring Relate to Children's Intellectual Humility.

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University of Louisville.
Michigan State University.


This study explored developmental and individual differences in intellectual humility (IH) among 127 children ages 6-8. IH was operationalized as children's assessment of their knowledge and willingness to delegate scientific questions to experts. Children completed measures of IH, theory of mind, motivational framework, and intelligence, and neurophysiological measures indexing early (error-related negativity [ERN]) and later (error positivity [Pe]) error-monitoring processes related to cognitive control. Children's knowledge self-assessment correlated with question delegation, and older children showed greater IH than younger children. Greater IH was associated with higher intelligence but not with social cognition or motivational framework. ERN related to self-assessment, whereas Pe related to question delegation. Thus, children show separable epistemic and social components of IH that may differentially contribute to metacognition and learning.


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