As soon as kids begin to talk - or even non-verbally indicate a preference - we start to give them choices. When we ask them a question with two choices, they’re much more likely to answer with the second option; not because they truly prefer it but because they have trouble remembering the first option, particularly if the words or phrases are long.

The findings, published in PLOS One, say that might be because of something called “recency bias.” In a series of experiments, researchers led by Emily Sumner at the University of California, Irvine, asked 24 1- and 2-year-olds a bunch of two-choice questions … One question, for example, was, “Does Rori live in an igloo or a tepee?” … As our kids begin to speak and converse with us, we may have a tendency to assume they understand our questions and the difference between the two options we give them.

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