ERIC Number: EJ810330
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 50
Categories Influence Predictions about Individual Consistency
Rhodes, Marjorie; Gelman, Susan A.
Child Development, v79 n5 p1270-1287 Sep-Oct 2008
Predicting how people will behave in the future is a critical social-cognitive task. In four studies (N = 150, ages preschool to adult), young children (ages 4-5) used category information to guide their expectations about individual consistency. They predicted that psychological properties (preferences and fears) would remain consistent over time after hearing one example in which properties followed a category-linked distribution (e.g., children of different genders had different properties) but not when properties varied within a category (e.g., children of the same gender had different properties). The developmental course of these findings is examined. Results suggest the importance of considering how children's emerging theories of behavior and of social groups operate together to inform their expectations about the social world.
Descriptors: Prediction, Cognitive Processes, Psychological Patterns, Child Development, Child Behavior, Task Analysis, Social Theories
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A