Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Eleanor Gao L&S Social Sciences

Children's uncertainty monitoring and decision-making on exploration

Uncertainty monitoring is an introspective process integral to learning. Children, demonstrating this ability as early as three years old, have to make countless decisions from moment to moment about what aspects of the environment to pay attention to and which ones to ignore. An internal sense of uncertainty is crucial to solving this problem: by selectively orienting themselves to things they’re uncertain about, children can maximize learning and minimize wasting time on already familiar things. Current research mainly explores how uncertainty guides children’s information-seeking but not sensitivity. There is a huge open area to explore whether and how it shapes decisions on further learning. My research project focuses on investigating how children’s uncertainty monitoring awareness from prior experience affects their decisions on further exploration. Understanding the role of uncertainty monitoring sensitivity can enhance training strategies in executive functions, facilitating more efficient learning in classroom settings. Implementing these insights as interventions could transform pedagogical practices.

Message To Sponsor

I would like to extend my gratitude to my donor for supporting this summer project on children’s learning. I am excited to have the chance to put my passion for children’s development into research. This opportunity provides me with practical experience that will be invaluable in my future journey. I am very grateful to be part of this program with your support.
Profile image of Eleanor Gao
Major: Psychology, Cognitive Science
Mentor: Celeste Kidd
Sponsor: Shin Morgan
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