DISCUSSION: The passage discusses children in the first paragraph, lines 7-13. You should reread that section first and try to prephrase the answer.
The passage said that children can correctly describe phenomena, but can’t describe their thoughts. i.e. They see a dog, accurately describe it, but their description of their thoughts about the dog is nonsense.
The children get the same result as the dog: they correctly describe it. But the children don’t describe their thoughts well, whereas adults do.
The psychologists think this means the children and adults actually have the same thoughts, but….adults are better able at spinning a convincing story that they know their thoughts, even when they haven’t. Whereas children lack this skill, and we can see their lack of knowledge more clearly. (If children could see their thoughts directly, presumably they would describe them as accurately as they describe the dog).
- The passage doesn’t mention children’s creativity. This answer is trying to waste your time by making you bring in outside assumptions you may have about childrens’ powers of imagination.
- This contradicts the passage. The author said that children “misdescribe” their thoughts. That doesn’t support the idea that children are more accurate than adults.
- The whole passage was aimed at showing we do not have access to our thoughts. If you chose this, it shows you completely misunderstood the entire passage. You need to go back, reread it, and read the analysis section I wrote.
Lines 1-4 say that our access to our thoughts is commonly thought to be infallable, but in line 5 the author says “But this assumption is challenged”, and then the rest of the passage is spent challenging the idea that we can see our thoughts.
- Line 8 supports this. It says that children “misdescribe their own thoughts”.
1. We know that children can describe phenomena correctly. E.g. they see a tree, they describe the tree.
2. They do not describe their thoughts correctly. e.g. Their description of what they think when they see the tree is nonsense.
This implies they don’t see their thoughts directly. Because they are able to correctly describe things they do see, i.e. trees.
Adults are better able to describe their “thoughts” in ways that aren’t nonsense. So, adults can hide the fact that they don’t see their thoughts.
Because children have more cognitive errors, they can’t hide the fact that they can’t see their thoughts. That’s why the experiment on children is valuable.
- The experiment on children didn’t have them try to observe the thoughts of others. They only looked at things in the world, described those things, and described their own thoughts.
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