Social preference in preschoolers: Effects of morphological self-similarity and familiarity

Nadja Richter, Bernard Tiddeman, Daniel B.M. Haun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Adults prefer to interact with others that are similar to themselves. Even slight facial selfresemblance can elicit trust towards strangers. Here we investigate if preschoolers at the age of 5 years already use facial self-resemblance when they make social judgments about others. We found that, in the absence of any additional knowledge about prospective peers, children preferred those who look subtly like themselves over complete strangers. Thus, subtle morphological similarities trigger social preferences well before adulthood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberA72
JournalPloS one
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 4 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank all participating children and their parents; Henriette Beranek and Nadin Bobovnikov for help with data collection; Ronny Barr, Sylvio Tuepke and Petra Jahn for technical assistance; Sandy Kennert, Heinz Gretscher, Marie Schaefer, Anja Widdig, Emma Cohen, Alex Todorov, Carmel Sofer, and Mike Tomasello for insightful discussions; and Frank W. Albert, Christof Neumann and Roger Mundry for help on data analysis and critical reading of the manuscript. This research was funded by the Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Richter et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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