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ERIC Number: EJ1199826
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019-Jan
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1467-7687
Explaining Early Moral Hypocrisy: Numerical Cognition Promotes Equal Sharing Behavior in Preschool-Aged Children
Chernyak, Nadia; Harris, Paul L.; Cordes, Sara
Developmental Science, v22 n1 e12695 Jan 2019
Recent work has documented that despite preschool-aged children's understanding of social norms surrounding sharing, they fail to share their resources equally in many contexts. Here we explored two hypotheses for this failure: an "insufficient motivation hypothesis" and an "insufficient cognitive resources hypothesis." With respect to the latter, we specifically explored whether children's numerical cognition--their understanding of the cardinal principle--might underpin their abilities to share equally. In Experiment 1, preschoolers' numerical cognition fully mediated age-related changes in children's fair sharing. We found little support for the insufficient motivation hypothesis--children stated that they had shared fairly, and failures in sharing fairly were a reflection of their number knowledge. Numerical cognition did not relate to children's knowledge of the norms of equality (Experiment 2). Results suggest that the knowledge--behavior gap in fairness may be partly explained by the differences in cognitive skills required for conceptual and behavioral equality.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Preschool Education; Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A