Not like me = bad: infants prefer those who harm dissimilar others.

TitleNot like me = bad: infants prefer those who harm dissimilar others.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsJ Hamlin K, Mahajan N, Liberman Z, Wynn K
JournalPsychol Sci
Date Published2013 Apr
KeywordsChild Development, Choice Behavior, Humans, Infant, Prejudice, Social Identification, Social Perception

Adults tend to like individuals who are similar to themselves, and a growing body of recent research suggests that even infants and young children prefer individuals who share their attributes or personal tastes over those who do not. In this study, we examined the nature and development of attitudes toward similar and dissimilar others in human infancy. Across two experiments with combined samples of more than 200 infant participants, we found that 9- and 14-month-old infants prefer individuals who treat similar others well and treat dissimilar others poorly. A developmental trend was observed, such that 14-month-olds' responses were more robust than were 9-month-olds'. These findings suggest that the identification of common and contrasting personal attributes influences social attitudes and judgments in powerful ways, even very early in life.

Alternate JournalPsychol Sci
PubMed ID23459869
PubMed Central IDPMC4374623
Grant ListR01 MH081877 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
R01-MH-081877 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
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