SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

The developmental model of subjective group dynamics hypothesizes that peer exclusion during middle childhood involves inferences about group dynamics. To test the generality of this prediction, children judged, within minimal groups, peers whose behavior was loyal versus disloyal (Study 1: n = 46, mean age = 113 months) or morally acceptable versus unacceptable (Study 2: n = 121, mean age = 90 months). As hypothesized, in Study 1, children used their understanding of loyalty norms as a basis for evaluating peers. In both studies, higher commitment to the in-group increased use of group-based criteria for judging peers. In Study 2, children employed moral- and group-based criteria independently for judging peers. Multiple classification skill was associated with lower intergroup bias and greater use of morality-based judgment.