Researchers at the University of Virginia have shown that pointing can give children the impression that you know what you’re doing when you don’t. Preschoolers were shown a clip of a female experimenter hiding a ball under one of four cups, while another female experimenter stood facing away. In the following scene, both women were able to see the cups and both positioned their hands either in their laps, grasping cups, or pointing at the cups. Compared to seeing the two other gestures, watching both women point reduced the children’s ability to identify the woman who knew where the ball was hidden.
Published: 6:21 pm, 11 March 2012