What is it about?

Two- to four-year-olds distributed toy pairs equally between two puppets. When given a third toy however, children were more likely to distribute the toy to the puppet with whom they shared group membership, as indicated by sticker labels of the same color.

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Why is it important?

The findings suggest that fairness and ingroup loyalty develop concurrently, and children apply both principles depending on contextual factors. Fairness trumps ingroup loyalty when there are sufficient resources to be distributed equally between recipients; yet when resources do not permit equal distribution, favoritism toward ingroup members is more commonly observed.


I like how simple behavioral paradigms in studies like these can illuminate the larger beliefs and values that children hold toward their social world.

Peipei Setoh
Nanyang Technological University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Preschoolers Favor Their Ingroup When Resources Are Limited, Frontiers in Psychology, September 2018, Frontiers, DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01752.
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