BOLD Blog in Brief

Humans learn and grow in social settings. This month, BOLD authors explore how social interactions help children become discerning adults and whether screen time influences emotional skill development.

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To make rational and informed decisions for ourselves and society, we must learn how to evaluate information from a variety of sources. Children begin to develop the skills for such thinking from an early age. By seven years old, they can make rational arguments, resolve disagreements and plan how to reach a goal. In an animated explainer video, Jan Engelmann and Tania Jenkins emphasize an important component of this development: the opportunity for children to work with their peers to develop reasoned, collaborative solutions. Watch the video here.

As smartphones, tablets and other computer screens have become an increasing part of daily life, some parents worry that children may be missing out on skills they learn from face-to-face conversations. These concerns have heightened during the COVID-19 pandemic due to the additional need for distance learning via online platforms. But, as science writer Juanita Bawagan discusses, some recent research indicates children could actually be learning to better understand emotions and facial expressions as they scroll through photos on social media or take selfies. Read more here.

Photo: verkeorg,, CC BY-SA 2.0


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