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Preschool Children's Attention to Environmental Messages about Groups: Social Categorization and the Origins of Intergroup Bias
Meagan M. Patterson and Rebecca S. Bigler
Vol. 77, No. 4 (Jul. - Aug., 2006), pp. 847-860
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3878402
Page Count: 14
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This study was designed to examine the effects of adults' labeling and use of social groups on preschool children's intergroup attitudes. Children (N = 87, aged 3-5) attending day care were given measures of classification skill and self-esteem and assigned to membership in a novel ("red" or "blue") social group. In experimental classrooms, teachers used the color groups to label children and organize the classroom. In control classrooms, teachers ignored the color groups. After 3 weeks, children completed multiple measures of intergroup attitudes. Results indicated that children in both types of classrooms developed ingroup-biased attitudes. As expected, children in experimental classrooms showed greater ingroup bias on some measures than children in control classrooms.
Child Development © 2006 Society for Research in Child Development