Document Detail

Do infants show social preferences for people differing in race?
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21334605     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Do infants develop meaningful social preferences among novel individuals based on their social group membership? If so, do these social preferences depend on familiarity on any dimension, or on a more specific focus on particular kinds of categorical information? The present experiments use methods that have previously demonstrated infants' social preferences based on language and accent, and test for infants' and young children's social preferences based on race. In Experiment 1, 10-month-old infants took toys equally from own- and other-race individuals. In Experiment 2, 2.5-year-old children gave toys equally to own- and other-race individuals. When shown the same stimuli in Experiment 3, 5-year-old children, in contrast, expressed explicit social preferences for own-race individuals. Social preferences based on race therefore emerge between 2.5 and 5 years of age and do not affect social choices in infancy. These data will be discussed in relation to prior research finding that infants' social preferences do, however, rely on language: a useful predictor of group or coalition membership in both modern times and humans' evolutionary past.
Katherine D Kinzler; Elizabeth S Spelke
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article     Date:  2011-02-21
Journal Detail:
Title:  Cognition     Volume:  119     ISSN:  1873-7838     ISO Abbreviation:  Cognition     Publication Date:  2011 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-02-28     Completed Date:  2011-07-05     Revised Date:  2014-09-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0367541     Medline TA:  Cognition     Country:  Netherlands    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1-9     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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MeSH Terms
Child Development / physiology*
Child, Preschool
Choice Behavior / physiology
Continental Population Groups*
Recognition (Psychology)
Social Behavior*
Social Perception*
Grant Support

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