Hugh: Kids as Young as Three Can Tell When You’re Giving Them a Bad Excuse
Written by Hugh Campbell on January 19, 2023
Your preschooler knows when you’re using a bad excuse, according to a Duke University study. Researchers analyzed 64 kids between three and five years old and their responses to a series of videos where puppets offered to show them a toy but failed to deliver. The puppets then provided a good or bad excuse, like helping a friend with homework or wanting to watch TV. The children tended to agree that it was wrong to go back on a promise, but were more understanding when puppets provided a good reason.
A lame excuse was as bad as no excuse at all. “Previous research has suggested that in some cases, young kids will just take any reason to be better than no reason at all,” study author Leon Li said. “But here we showed that kids do pay attention to the actual content.”