Mehrani, M.B., & Peterson, C. (2018). Responses to interview questions: A cross-linguistic study of acquiescence tendency. Infant and Child Development, 27(2), e2063.  doi: 10.1002/icd.2063

Recent theoretical accounts have assumed that children display an acquiescence tendency when answering yes-no questions. The present cross-linguistic study aimed to test this account via examination of the responses of children to various yes-no questions about six familiar and unfamiliar objects. The impacts of age and linguistic background on children’s response tendencies were also investigated. The participants were three groups of 2- to 5-year-old children, including 98 Persian, 78 Kurdish and 43 English speaking children. Results revealed that younger children, regardless of their linguistic background, demonstrate an acquiescence tendency. The findings suggest that acquiescence tendency is a universal phenomenon. However, children’s level of acquiescence declines as age increases. Implications regarding the use of yes-no questions with children are discussed.