The way children develop reasoning about the natural world is largely influenced by how and where they are raised, a new study finds.

For decades, the consensus was that as young children begin reasoning about the biological world, they adopt an “anthropocentric” stance, favoring humans over non-human animals when it comes to learning about properties of animals. But it appears human-centered reasoning among children is not universal after all.

Researchers at Northwestern University studied children growing up in Chicago as well as children from rural Wisconsin, who have more extensive direct contact with the natural world. They found that while the urban children revealed a human-centered pattern of reasoning, the rural European-American and Native-American children did not.

Full story at Futurity.

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