Cultural Variations in the Curse of Knowledge: The Curse of Knowledge Bias in Children from a Nomadic Pastoralist Culture in Kenya

Siba Ghrear, Maciej Chudek, Klint Fung, Sarah Mathew, Susan A.J. Birch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We examined the universality of the curse of knowledge (i.e., the tendency to be biased by one's knowledge when inferring other perspectives) by investigating it in a unique cross-cultural sample; a nomadic Nilo-Saharan pastoralist society in East Africa, the Turkana. Forty Turkana children were asked eight factual questions and asked to predict how widely-known those facts were among their peers. To test the effect of their knowledge, we taught children the answers to half of the questions, while the other half were unknown. Based on findings suggesting the bias's universality, we predicted that children would estimate that more of their peers would know the answers to the questions that were taught versus the unknown questions. We also predicted that with age children would become less biased by their knowledge. In contrast, we found that only Turkana males were biased by their knowledge when inferring their peers' perspectives, and the bias did not change with age. We discuss the implications of these findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)366-384
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Cognition and Culture
Volume19
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Kenya
trend
Eastern Africa
East Africa
Pastoralists
Curse
Peers
Teaching
Universality

Keywords

  • culture
  • curse of knowledge
  • hindsight bias
  • knowledge attribution
  • social cognition
  • theory of mind

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Cultural Variations in the Curse of Knowledge : The Curse of Knowledge Bias in Children from a Nomadic Pastoralist Culture in Kenya. / Ghrear, Siba; Chudek, Maciej; Fung, Klint; Mathew, Sarah; Birch, Susan A.J.

In: Journal of Cognition and Culture, Vol. 19, No. 3-4, 01.01.2019, p. 366-384.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{08a11603ef5d41308fcce1d0a4ba165c,
title = "Cultural Variations in the Curse of Knowledge: The Curse of Knowledge Bias in Children from a Nomadic Pastoralist Culture in Kenya",
abstract = "We examined the universality of the curse of knowledge (i.e., the tendency to be biased by one's knowledge when inferring other perspectives) by investigating it in a unique cross-cultural sample; a nomadic Nilo-Saharan pastoralist society in East Africa, the Turkana. Forty Turkana children were asked eight factual questions and asked to predict how widely-known those facts were among their peers. To test the effect of their knowledge, we taught children the answers to half of the questions, while the other half were unknown. Based on findings suggesting the bias's universality, we predicted that children would estimate that more of their peers would know the answers to the questions that were taught versus the unknown questions. We also predicted that with age children would become less biased by their knowledge. In contrast, we found that only Turkana males were biased by their knowledge when inferring their peers' perspectives, and the bias did not change with age. We discuss the implications of these findings.",
keywords = "culture, curse of knowledge, hindsight bias, knowledge attribution, social cognition, theory of mind",
author = "Siba Ghrear and Maciej Chudek and Klint Fung and Sarah Mathew and Birch, {Susan A.J.}",
year = "2019",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1163/15685373-12340064",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "19",
pages = "366--384",
journal = "Journal of Cognition and Culture",
issn = "1567-7095",
publisher = "Brill",
number = "3-4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Cultural Variations in the Curse of Knowledge

T2 - The Curse of Knowledge Bias in Children from a Nomadic Pastoralist Culture in Kenya

AU - Ghrear, Siba

AU - Chudek, Maciej

AU - Fung, Klint

AU - Mathew, Sarah

AU - Birch, Susan A.J.

PY - 2019/1/1

Y1 - 2019/1/1

N2 - We examined the universality of the curse of knowledge (i.e., the tendency to be biased by one's knowledge when inferring other perspectives) by investigating it in a unique cross-cultural sample; a nomadic Nilo-Saharan pastoralist society in East Africa, the Turkana. Forty Turkana children were asked eight factual questions and asked to predict how widely-known those facts were among their peers. To test the effect of their knowledge, we taught children the answers to half of the questions, while the other half were unknown. Based on findings suggesting the bias's universality, we predicted that children would estimate that more of their peers would know the answers to the questions that were taught versus the unknown questions. We also predicted that with age children would become less biased by their knowledge. In contrast, we found that only Turkana males were biased by their knowledge when inferring their peers' perspectives, and the bias did not change with age. We discuss the implications of these findings.

AB - We examined the universality of the curse of knowledge (i.e., the tendency to be biased by one's knowledge when inferring other perspectives) by investigating it in a unique cross-cultural sample; a nomadic Nilo-Saharan pastoralist society in East Africa, the Turkana. Forty Turkana children were asked eight factual questions and asked to predict how widely-known those facts were among their peers. To test the effect of their knowledge, we taught children the answers to half of the questions, while the other half were unknown. Based on findings suggesting the bias's universality, we predicted that children would estimate that more of their peers would know the answers to the questions that were taught versus the unknown questions. We also predicted that with age children would become less biased by their knowledge. In contrast, we found that only Turkana males were biased by their knowledge when inferring their peers' perspectives, and the bias did not change with age. We discuss the implications of these findings.

KW - culture

KW - curse of knowledge

KW - hindsight bias

KW - knowledge attribution

KW - social cognition

KW - theory of mind

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85070916898&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85070916898&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1163/15685373-12340064

DO - 10.1163/15685373-12340064

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:85070916898

VL - 19

SP - 366

EP - 384

JO - Journal of Cognition and Culture

JF - Journal of Cognition and Culture

SN - 1567-7095

IS - 3-4

ER -