So It Is, So It Shall Be: Group Regularities License Children's Prescriptive Judgments

Cognitive Science 41 (S3) (2017)

Susan Gelman
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
When do descriptive regularities become prescriptive norms? We examined children's and adults' use of group regularities to make prescriptive judgments, employing novel groups that engaged in morally neutral behaviors. Participants were introduced to conforming or non-conforming individuals. Children negatively evaluated non-conformity, with negative evaluations declining with age. These effects were replicable across competitive and cooperative intergroup contexts and stemmed from reasoning about group regularities rather than reasoning about individual regularities. These data provide new insights into children's group concepts and have important implications for understanding the development of stereotyping and norm enforcement.
Keywords Conformity  Novel groups  Group norms  Cognitive development  Norm enforcement  Social cognition
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DOI 10.1111/cogs.12443
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The Weirdest People in the World?Joseph Henrich, Steven J. Heine & Ara Norenzayan - 2010 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33 (2-3):61-83.

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