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ERIC Number: EJ1077861
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Nov
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1363-755X
Young Children's Automatic Encoding of Social Categories
Weisman, Kara; Johnson, Marissa V.; Shutts, Kristin
Developmental Science, v18 n6 p1036-1043 Nov 2015
The present research investigated young children's automatic encoding of two social categories that are highly relevant to adults: gender and race. Three- to 6-year-old participants learned facts about unfamiliar target children who varied in either gender or race and were asked to remember which facts went with which targets. When participants made mistakes, they were more likely to confuse targets of the same gender than targets of different genders, but they were equally likely to confuse targets within and across racial groups. However, a social preference measure indicated that participants were sensitive to both gender and race information. Participants with more racial diversity in their social environments were more likely to encode race, but did not have stronger racial preferences. These findings provide evidence that young children do not automatically encode all perceptible features of others. Further, gender may be a more fundamental social category than race.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) (NIH)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: R01HD07089053; P30HD03352