The influence of group stereotypes on adolescents' moral reasoning

Stacey Horn, Melanie Killen, Charles Stangor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The purpose for this study was to investigate adolescents' judgments about the appropriate punishment of other adolescents for accused transgressions in situations where stereotype information was present or absent. Ninety-two male and 85 female, predominantly European-American, ninth-grade adolescents made judgments about the appropriateness of punishing members of social reference groups for accused transgressions about which there was no clear evidence that the students from the group actually committed the transgressions. In two of the four conditions the accused transgressions were consistent with group stereotypes whereas in the other two conditions the accused transgressions were inconsistent with group stereotypes. The majority of adolescents judged the act of punishing a group without proper evidence as wrong and used moral reasons to justify those decisions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)98-113
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Early Adolescence
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1999
Externally publishedYes


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