ERIC Number: EJ794590
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Reference Count: 37
Development of Social Category Representations: Early Appreciation of Roles and Deontic Relations
Kalish, Charles W.; Lawson, Christopher A.
Child Development, v79 n3 p577-593 May-Jun 2008
Three experiments explored the significance of deontic properties (involving rights and obligations) in representations of social categories. Preschool-aged children (M = 4.8), young school-aged children (M = 8.2), and adults judged the centrality of behavioral, psychological, and deontic properties for both familiar (Experiments 1 and 2, Ns = 50 and 52, respectively) and novel (Experiment 3, N = 64) social categories. Preschool-aged children were the most consistent in treating deontic properties as central: Knowing a person's social category membership was more informative about obligations than about behavioral frequencies or psychological preferences. Adults treated deontic properties as central to some categories but also recognized a set that was primarily predictive of psychological dispositions. The results argue for the significance of deontic properties in the development of social cognition.
Descriptors: Preschool Children, Children, Adults, Social Cognition, Classification, Individual Development, Age Differences, Psychological Characteristics, Behavior, Group Membership
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
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