Mehrani, M.B., & Peterson, C. (2017). Children’s recency tendency: A cross-linguistic study of Persian, Kurdish and English. First Language, 37, 350-367. doi: 10.1177/0142723717694055

In the present cross-linguistic study two experiments were conducted to investigate the effects of age and linguistic background on response tendencies of preschoolers toward forced-choice questions. A total of 163 2- to 5-year-old children, including 63 Persian speakers, 57 Kurdish speakers and 43 English speakers, were asked a set of forced-choice, two option questions about familiar and unfamiliar objects. The results showed that, regardless of their linguistic background, children displayed a recency tendency in response to forced-choice questions. In addition, younger children exhibited a stronger tendency and this tendency was more pronounced when children were asked questions about unfamiliar objects. The findings suggest that recency tendency is a universal phenomenon. However, it grows weaker as children’s age increases. The mechanism of a recency tendency along with implications of the use of forced-choice questions with children is discussed.