Two-Year-Olds’ Eye Movements Reflect Confidence in Their Understanding of Words

Date de l'évènement: 
Tuesday, 18 October, 2022

The capacity to evaluate the reliability of one’s own decisions, beliefs and memories, i.e. confidence,
is critical in guiding inferential processes in many domains. Whether this capacity develops early
in the language domain is far less clear as previous research relied on verbal reports to assess
children’s ability to explicitly reason about their language understanding. Using a novel paradigm,
we provide evidence that the ability to estimate confidence in understanding language is present
by at least two years of age and thus, develops in tandem with language comprehension. Our
work converges with a growing body of evidence suggesting that monitoring confidence is a
fundamental ability that enables humans to actively and adaptively respond to their environment
from a very young age and opens critical new questions regarding the role of core metacognition
in supporting active and adaptive language learning.