Consequences of “Minimal” Group Affiliations in Children
Version of Record online: 17 MAR 2011
© 2011 The Authors. Child Development © 2011 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.
Volume 82, Issue 3, pages 793–811, May/June 2011
How to Cite
Dunham, Y., Baron, A. S. and Carey, S. (2011), Consequences of “Minimal” Group Affiliations in Children. Child Development, 82: 793–811. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2011.01577.x
- Issue online: 5 MAY 2011
- Version of Record online: 17 MAR 2011
Three experiments (total N = 140) tested the hypothesis that 5-year-old children’s membership in randomly assigned “minimal” groups would be sufficient to induce intergroup bias. Children were randomly assigned to groups and engaged in tasks involving judgments of unfamiliar in-group or out-group children. Despite an absence of information regarding the relative status of groups or any competitive context, in-group preferences were observed on explicit and implicit measures of attitude and resource allocation (Experiment 1), behavioral attribution, and expectations of reciprocity, with preferences persisting when groups were not described via a noun label (Experiment 2). In addition, children systematically distorted incoming information by preferentially encoding positive information about in-group members (Experiment 3). Implications for the developmental origins of intergroup bias are discussed.