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ERIC Number: EJ1043803
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Nov
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1363-755X
Reducing an In-Group Bias in Preschool Children: The Impact of Moral Behavior
Hetherington, Chelsea; Hendrickson, Caroline; Koenig, Melissa
Developmental Science, v17 n6 p1042-1049 Nov 2014
How impressionable are in-group biases in early childhood? Previous research shows that young children display robust preferences for members of their own social group, but also condemn those who harm others. The current study investigates children's evaluations of agents when their group membership and moral behavior conflict. After being assigned to a minimal group, 4- to 5-year-old children either saw their in-group member behave antisocially, an out-group member act prosocially, or control agents, for whom moral information was removed. Children's explicit preference for and willingness to share with their in-group member was significantly attenuated in the presence of an antisocial in-group member, but not a prosocial out-group member. Interestingly, children's learning decisions were unmoved by a person's moral behavior, instead being consistently guided by group membership. This demonstrates that children's in-group bias is remarkably flexible: while moral information curbs children's in-group bias on social evaluations, social learning is still driven by group information.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: DLS-656007