Social Norms and Self-Presentation: Children's Implicit and Explicit Intergroup Attitudes

Authors


concerning this article should be addressed to Adam Rutland, Department of Psychology, University of Kent, Canterbury CT2 7NP, UK. Electronic mail may be sent to a.rutland@kent.ac.uk

Abstract

Two studies examined whether social norms and children's concern for self-presentation affect their intergroup attitudes. Study 1 examined racial intergroup attitudes and normative beliefs among children aged 6 to 16 years (n=155). Accountability (i.e., public self-focus) was experimentally manipulated, and intergroup attitudes were assessed using explicit and implicit measures. Study 2 (n=134) replicated Study 1, focusing on national intergroup attitudes. Both studies showed that children below 10 years old were externally motivated to inhibit their in-group bias under high public self-focus. Older children were internally motivated to suppress their bias as they showed implicit but not explicit bias. Study 1, in contrast to Study 2, showed that children with low norm internalization suppressed their out-group prejudice under high public self-focus.

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