Document Detail

Origins of "Us" versus "Them": Prelinguistic infants prefer similar others.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22668879     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
A central feature of human psychology is our pervasive tendency to divide the social world into "us" and "them". We prefer to associate with those who are similar to us over those who are different, preferentially allocate resources to similar others, and hold more positive beliefs about similar others. Here we investigate the developmental origins of these biases, asking if preference for similar others occurs prior to language and extensive exposure to cultural norms. We demonstrate that, like adults, prelinguistic infants prefer those who share even trivial similarities with themselves, and these preferences appear to reflect a cognitive comparison process ("like me"/"not like me"). However, unlike adults, infants do not appear to prefer others with an utterly arbitrary similarity to themselves. Together, these findings suggest that the phenomena of ingroup bias, and enhanced interpersonal attraction toward those who resemble ourselves, may be rooted in an inherent preference for similarity to self, which itself may be enhanced during development by the influence of cultural values.
Neha Mahajan; Karen Wynn
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2012-6-4
Journal Detail:
Title:  Cognition     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1873-7838     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2012 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-6-6     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0367541     Medline TA:  Cognition     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Department of Psychology, Temple University, 580 Meetinghouse Rd., Ambler, PA 19002, USA.
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