Second Grader Wisdom

“I need a minute to sort out my brain.”

My Second Grader

When a second grader speaks the kind of truth we can all relate to, it’s cute, right?

What if I had said it instead of my second grader?

What about if your least favorite person said it?

We receive and value a statement differently depending on who said it.

Authority Bias; Halo & Horn Effects

I asked my son a question the other day and before answering, he paused, looked at me and said, “I need a minute to sort out my brain.” He had a lot of different things on his mind and needed to get his thoughts in order before proceeding. It was the cutest thing. Of course I’m biased, but then again, aren’t we all?

Things sound different depending on who says them, right? This statement is cute because it sounds pretty self-aware for a second grader. Imagine a preschooler saying it?! And of course it’s not as noteworthy if it had just been me saying it.

✨We receive and value a statement differently depending on who said it.

For example:

🧠 When an authority figure speaks, we tend to attribute greater accuracy and weight to their words, even when what they are speaking on is not related to what they are an “authority” on. This is a cognitive bias known as the authority bias.

As a child, I didn’t question my mom’s instructions much. She was the authority and what she said, went. The authority bias is not as strong in my own child. He questions my rationale when I don’t make sense to him, and I’m glad he does!

🧠 When a physically attractive person speaks, we might be more inclined to receive whatever they say more positively, unless we have a strong bias against attractive people in which case we might be suspicious of anything they say. The Halo and Horn Effects describe our tendencies to allow a positive or negative impression of a person in one area to affect our impression of them positively or negatively in other areas, respectively.

✨ It’s always important to consider the source of our information for credibility, accuracy and potential biases, but also to consider our own biases towards what we hear and read. We could be too quick to accept or dismiss something simply based on who said it.

❓What’s the wisest (or funniest) thing you’ve heard a child say recently?

💕 But seriously, how much better would we all communicate if we each took a minute to sort out our brains before we started talking . . . ?

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