Infants’ Early Understanding of Coincidences

Abstract

Coincidences are surprising events that can provide learners with the opportunity to revise their theories about how the world works. In the current research, we investigate whether infants are truly sensitive to coincidences, detecting these events even when they cannot be predicted mere probabilities. In addition, we explore whether this sensitivity is translated into action, encouraging infants to engage in activities that enable them to revise their theories. Results from 2 experiments demonstrate that infants display a sensitivity to coincidence similar to adult intuitions, and they selectively explore objects that produce anomalous data that better supports an alternative theory than their prior theory.


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