The Development of Subjective Group Dynamics: Children's Judgments of Normative and Deviant In-Group and Out-Group Individuals

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Abstract

A developmental model of subjective group dynamics suggests that social identity is sustained first by intergroup biases and later by intragroup biases. In this study 476 English children 5 to 11 years old evaluated the English and German soccer teams, and judged in-group or out-group members whose attitudes toward the teams was normative versus antinormative. Children of all ages expressed intergroup bias. Differential evaluation against in-group deviants and in favor of out-group deviants strengthened with age. Understanding of targets' relative acceptability (differential inclusion) among in-group and out-group members mediated the effects of age and intergroup bias on intragroup bias. Identification with the in-group moderated the effects only among older children.

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