On the path to social dominance? Individual differences in sensitivity to intergroup fairness violations in early childhood

Michal Reifen Tagar, Chelsea Hetherington, Deborah Shulman, Melissa Koenig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

According to current literature, individual differences in Social Dominance Orientation (SDO) are assumed to consistently manifest only around young adulthood. Here, we examined, to our knowledge for the first time, whether individual differences in sensitivity to intergroup inequality – a defining characteristic of SDO – have expressions already in early childhood. We expected young children to be less sensitive to moral standards of intergroup fairness to the extent that their parents supported social inequality. Using a sample of 75 preschoolers and their parents, we found that children's sensitivity to intergroup fairness violations varied systematically in line with their parents’ SDO levels. Specifically, children of parents low in SDO penalized ingroup members’ fairness violations in the intergroup context, whereas children of parents high in SDO showed no such penalization. These findings suggest that individual differences in sensitivity to intergroup equality have expressions significantly earlier than currently acknowledged in the literature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)246-250
Number of pages5
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Volume113
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 15 2017

Keywords

  • Fairness violation
  • Parent-child concordance
  • Sensitivity to inequality
  • Social Dominance

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