NPR

Kids Start To Test Surprising Claims By Early Elementary School

As many families prepare for a visit from Santa, and some face questions about the jolly old man in the red suit, a new study looks at how children react to surprising claims, says Tania Lombrozo.
Source: DNY59

As many families prepare for a visit from Santa, some are facing questions about the jolly old man in the red suit.

The fact that children will (sometimes) accept counterintuitive claims, like the existence of Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy, has led some theorists to marvel at their willingness to take others at their word.

"Child brains are gullible," writes Richard Dawkins, "open to almost any suggestion, vulnerable to subversion...wide open to mental infections that adults might brush off without effort."

But research in developmental psychology tells a different tale. By age 5, about the.

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from NPR

NPR3 min read
HBO Max Wants To Know, How You Doin'? As It Teases 'Friends' Reunion
WarnerMedia announced the six principle cast members of 'Friends' will reunite for an unscripted special in May 2020 — 16 years after the iconic sitcom went off the air.
NPR4 min read
Study Finds Century-old Combat Helmet Superior Shield Against Brain Trauma
Combat helmets have always been made to protect against blunt objects, not blast waves. Despite improvements in helmet design, battlefield brain injuries continue.
NPR3 min read
Flashy, Splashy 'Hunters' Is More Fun Than It Should Be
Al Pacino is the marquee attraction in Hunters, Amazon's new show about Nazi hunters in the 1970s — but the story is splashy and electric enough that he's not the most interesting thing in it.