“Because she is a know-it-all”: school-aged children’s understanding of calibration for hesitant informants
Calibration refers to the extent to which one’s confidence predicts their accuracy. Accordingly; someone accurate and confident, and someone inaccurate and hesitant are well-calibrated; and someone inaccurate and confident, and someone accurate but hesitant are poorly calibrated. Although there is evidence of adults’ calibration understanding, children do not have a complete understanding of calibration. The current study aimed to investigate children’s calibration understanding better. To that end, 7-, 9-, and 11-year-old children were tested on three calibration tasks with informants that included the inaccurate and hesitant informant. The tasks included explicit and implicit measures of calibration. The results showed that children performed similarly across all ages, but there were differences in how children performed between different tasks. Also, accuracy had more influence on children’s judgments for who was a reliable informant than confidence. Third, more children passed the implicit calibration task but failed the explicit one than vice versa. Lastly, children’s calibration understanding was not related to their executive function (EF) abilities. These results suggest that calibration is a complex ability influenced by social situations. The role situations play and how they might be used as a broader framework to explain calibration are highlighted in the discussion. EF and other cognitive abilities that might be related to calibration understanding are also discussed.