How Mixed is the Playground: Children’s Predictions about In-Group, Out-Group Behaviors
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Undergraduate honors thesis / Open Access
Children generally have strong predictions about how in-group and out-group members will treat each other. We wanted to explore how these predictions play out for groups such as race and gender. We also wanted to test how much children predict that general mixing between groups will occur, and whether these beliefs affect children’s predictions about whom a behavior will be directed towards. This study examined 3-to- 8 year olds’ (N = 331) predictions. The first part of the study asked children to predict what they thought a playground looked like. They were presented with four options, each containing different amounts of mixing between groups. The next part of the study asked children to make predictions about whether a person would direct a certain behavior (either obviously kind, or obviously mean) to an in-group member or out-group member. Younger children expected more mixing on the playground than older children did, especially between genders. Older children, however, made stronger predictions that nice behaviors would be directed towards in-group members and mean behaviors would be directed toward out-group members.
Zar, H. (2022, April 28). How Mixed is the Playground: Children’s Predictions about In-Group, Out-Group Behaviors. Undergraduate honors thesis, Yeshiva University.
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