Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Marcia Winter

Second Advisor

Zewelanji Serpell

Third Advisor

Alex Wagaman

Fourth Advisor

Yaoying Xu

Fifth Advisor

Richard Bargdill


Intellectual humility (IH) develops throughout childhood and adolescence and is critically important for effective learning, particularly with regard to science; however, the research examining the development of IH in children is quite limited. As such, this study utilized an exploratory, mixed methods, community-engaged research design with children ages three to 10 (n = 60; Mage = 5.98; 69.6% female) and their parents/guardians recruited from a public children’s museum.. As the construct of IH is intended to describe adult cognition, I operationalized the set of components that may lead to the development of IH in preschool children as Receptive Reasoning (RR), including exploration, explanation, and revision of beliefs. Results indicate that the three components of RR are interrelated, particularly explanation and revision of beliefs, and these components differ by age, with exploration and explanation improving and belief revision decreasing. Further, these constructs are distinct from those of ego resiliency, approaches to learning, and emotion regulation. Findings indicate the complexity in measuring the components of RR in young children and highlight the importance of age in the development of RR.


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