Social information use in adolescents: The impact of adults, peers and household composition
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Social learning strategies are key for making adaptive decisions, but their ontogeny remains poorly understood. We investigate how social information use depends on its source (adults vs. peer), and how it is shaped by household composition (extended vs. nuclear), a factor known to modulate social development. Using a simple estimation task, we show that social information strongly impacts the behaviour of adolescents aged 11 to 15 years (N = 256), especially when its source is an adult. However, social information use does not depend on household composition: the relative impact of adults and peers was similar in adolescents from both household types. Furthermore, adolescents were found to directly copy others' estimates surprisingly frequently. This study provides novel insights into adolescents' social information use and contributes to understanding the ontogeny of social learning strategies.
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