Publications by authors named "Susan A Gelman"

145 Publications

What we would (but shouldn't) do for those we love: Universalism versus partiality in responding to others' moral transgressions.

Cognition 2021 Aug 21;217:104886. Epub 2021 Aug 21.

Department of Psychology, University of Michigan, 1004 East Hall, 530 Church Street, Ann Arbor, MI, 48109, USA. Electronic address:

Recent work indicates that people are more likely to protect a close (vs. distant) other who commits a crime. But do people think it is morally right to treat close others differently? On the one hand, universalist moral principles dictate that people should be treated equally. On the other hand, close relationships are the source of special moral obligations, which may lead people to believe they ought to preferentially protect close others. Here we attempt to adjudicate between these competing considerations by examining what people think they would and should do when a close (vs. distant) other behaves immorally. Across four experiments (N = 2002), we show that people believe they morally should protect close others more than distant others. However, we also document a striking discrepancy: participants reported that they would protect close others far more than they should protect them. These findings demonstrate that people believe close relationships influence what they morally ought to do-but also that moral decisions about close others may be a context in which people are particularly likely to fail to do what they think is morally right.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2021.104886DOI Listing
August 2021

Categories convey prescriptive information across domains and development.

J Exp Child Psychol 2021 Dec 3;212:105231. Epub 2021 Aug 3.

Department of Psychology, New York University, New York, NY 10003, USA.

Young children display a pervasive bias to assume that what they observe in the world reflects how things are supposed to be. The current studies examined the nature of this bias by testing whether it reflects a particular form of reasoning about human social behaviors or a more general feature of category representations. Children aged 4 to 9 years and adults (N = 747) evaluated instances of nonconformity among members of novel biological and human social kinds. Children held prescriptive expectations for both animal and human categories; in both cases, they said it was wrong for a category member to engage in category-atypical behavior. These prescriptive judgments about categories depended on the extent to which people saw the pictured individual examples as representative of coherent categories. Thus, early prescriptive judgments appear to rely on the interplay between general conceptual biases and domain-specific beliefs about category structure.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jecp.2021.105231DOI Listing
December 2021

Beyond Black and White: Conceptualizing and essentializing Black-White identity.

Cultur Divers Ethnic Minor Psychol 2021 Jul 29. Epub 2021 Jul 29.

Department of Psychology.

Objective: Psychological research suggests that Black-White individuals are often conceptualized as Black White, and that essentialist beliefs about race are negatively associated with conceptualizing Black-White individuals as such. The present research examined what people think it means to be Black White (e.g., a of Black and White vs. Black and White) and whether essentialism is indeed negatively associated with such concepts.

Method: We used multiple methodologies (e.g., surveys, open-ended explanations, experimental manipulations) to examine how Black, White, and Black-White perceivers conceptualized Black-White individuals (Studies 1-3) and the extent to which essentialist beliefs, both dispositional (Studies 2-3) and experimentally induced (Study 4), predicted those concepts.

Results: We find that U.S. Black-White individuals most often conceptualized "Black and White" to mean a of Black and White (Study 1), as did U.S. White individuals and U.S. Black individuals (Studies 2 and 3), and that racial essentialism-both dispositional (Studies 2 and 3) and experimentally manipulated (Study 4)-was positively associated with this conception.

Conclusion: Our data shed new light on the complexity of race concepts and essentialism and advance the psychological understanding of Black-White identity. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/cdp0000490DOI Listing
July 2021

Growth mindset and academic outcomes: a comparison of US and Chinese students.

NPJ Sci Learn 2021 Jul 19;6(1):21. Epub 2021 Jul 19.

Department of Psychology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.

Chinese students are more likely than US students to hold a malleable view of success in school, yet are more likely to hold fixed mindsets about intelligence. We demonstrate that this apparently contradictory pattern of cross-cultural differences holds true across multiple samples and is related to how students conceptualize intelligence and its relationship with academic achievement. Study 1 (N > 15,000) confirmed that US students endorsed more growth mindsets than Chinese students. Importantly, US students' mathematics grades were positively related to growth mindsets with a medium-to-large effect, but for Chinese students, this association was slightly negative. Study 2 conceptually replicated Study 1 findings with US and Chinese college samples, and further discovered that cross-cultural differences in intelligence mindset beliefs corresponded to how students defined intelligence. Together, these studies demonstrated systematic cross-cultural differences in intelligence mindset and suggest that intelligence mindsets are not necessarily associated with academic motivation or success in the same way across cultures.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41539-021-00100-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8290023PMC
July 2021

The Roles of Privacy and Trust in Children's Evaluations and Explanations of Digital Tracking.

Child Dev 2021 Jun 12. Epub 2021 Jun 12.

University of Michigan.

A "digital revolution" has introduced new privacy violations concerning access to information stored on electronic devices. The present two studies assessed how U.S. children ages 5-17 and adults (N = 416; 55% female; 67% white) evaluated those accessing digital information belonging to someone else, either location data (Study 1) or digital photos (Study 2). The trustworthiness of the tracker (Studies 1 and 2) and the privacy of the information (Study 2) were manipulated. At all ages, evaluations were more negative when the tracker was less trustworthy, and when information was private. However, younger children were substantially more positive overall about digital tracking than older participants. These results, yielding primarily medium-to-large effect sizes, suggest that with age, children increasingly appreciate digital privacy considerations.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cdev.13572DOI Listing
June 2021

Transgender and cisgender children's essentialist beliefs about sex and gender identity.

Dev Sci 2021 May 1. Epub 2021 May 1.

Department of Psychology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.

Children essentialize gender from a young age, viewing it as inborn, biologically based, unchanging, and predictive of preferences and behaviors. Children's gender essentialism appears to be so pervasive that it is found within conservative and liberal communities, and among transgender and cisgender children. However, it remains unclear what aspect of gender the children participating in past studies essentialized. Such studies used labels such as "girl" or "boy" without clarifying how children (or researchers) interpreted them. Are they indicators of the target's biological categorization at birth (sex), the target's sense of their own gender (gender identity), or some third possible interpretation? This distinction becomes particularly relevant when transgender children are concerned, as their sex assigned at birth and gender identity are not aligned. In the present two studies, we discovered that 6- to 11-year-old transgender children, their cisgender siblings, and unrelated cisgender children, all essentialized both sex and gender identity. Moreover, transgender and cisgender children did not differ in their essentialism of sex (i.e., whether body parts would remain stable over time). Importantly, however, transgender children were less likely than unrelated cisgender children to essentialize when hearing an ambiguous gender/sex label ("girl" or "boy"). Finally, the two studies showed mixed findings on whether the participant groups differed in reasoning about the stability of a gender-nonconforming target's gender identity. These findings illustrate that a child's identity can relate to their conceptual development, as well as the importance of diversifying samples to enhance our understanding of social cognitive development.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/desc.13115DOI Listing
May 2021

A Dollar Is a Dollar Is a Dollar, or Is It? Insights From Children's Reasoning About "Dirty Money".

Cogn Sci 2021 04;45(4):e12950

Department of Psychology, University of Michigan.

Money can take many forms-a coin or a bill, a payment for an automobile or a prize for an award, a piece from the 1989 series or the 2019 series, and so on-but despite this, money is designed to represent an amount and only that. Thus, a dollar is a dollar, in the sense that money is fungible. But when adults ordinarily think about money, they think about it in terms of its source, and in particular, its moral source (e.g., dirty money). Here we investigate the development of the belief that money carries traces of its moral history. We study children ages 5-6 and 8-9, who are sensitive to both object history and morality, and thus possess the component pieces needed to think that a dollar may not be like any other. Across three principal studies (and three additional studies in Appendix S1; N = 327; 219 five- and six-year-olds; 108 eight- and nine-year-olds), we find that children are less likely to want money with negative moral history, a pattern that was stronger and more consistent among 8- and 9-year-olds than 5- and 6-year-olds. These findings highlight pressing directions for future research that could help shed light on the mechanisms that contribute to the belief that money carries traces of its moral history.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cogs.12950DOI Listing
April 2021

"You" speaks to me: Effects of generic-you in creating resonance between people and ideas.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2020 12 23;117(49):31038-31045. Epub 2020 Nov 23.

Department of Psychology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109;

Creating resonance between people and ideas is a central goal of communication. Historically, attempts to understand the factors that promote resonance have focused on altering the content of a message. Here we identify an additional route to evoking resonance that is embedded in the structure of language: the generic use of the word "you" (e.g., "You can't understand someone until you've walked a mile in their shoes"). Using crowd-sourced data from the Amazon Kindle application, we demonstrate that passages that people highlighted-collectively, over a quarter of a million times-were substantially more likely to contain generic-you compared to yoked passages that they did not highlight. We also demonstrate in four experiments ( = 1,900) that ideas expressed with generic-you increased resonance. These findings illustrate how a subtle shift in language establishes a powerful sense of connection between people and ideas.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2010939117DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7733818PMC
December 2020

Perceptions of the malleability of fluid and crystallized intelligence.

J Exp Psychol Gen 2021 May 1;150(5):815-827. Epub 2020 Oct 1.

Department of Psychology, University of Michigan.

There is significant variation in lay people's beliefs about the nature of intelligence: Some believe that intelligence is relatively fixed and innate, whereas others view intelligence as more malleable and affected by experience. However, most studies in this domain do not explicitly define intelligence when probing about beliefs about intelligence and aptitude. Thus, variation in beliefs may reflect variation in how intelligence is defined. To address this issue, we conducted 3 studies examining individuals' beliefs about fluid versus crystallized intelligence. Study 1 used a modified version of Dweck's (1999) mindset questionnaire and found that people have more fixed views about fluid intelligence than either crystallized intelligence or intelligence in general. Study 2 used a switched-at-birth paradigm and found that individuals hold more essentialist beliefs about fluid intelligence than crystallized intelligence. Study 3 added a survey that probed participants' beliefs about mathematics achievement. It found that when reasoning about mathematics achievements, participants' attributions of ability and effort were differentially associated with their crystallized and fluid mindset beliefs. Specifically, mindsets of fluid intelligence were more associated with effort for professional-level mathematics achievements, whereas mindsets of crystallized intelligence were more associated with elementary-level mathematics achievements. Together, the present studies highlight the importance of considering the definition of intelligence when assessing related beliefs about malleability, inheritance, and achievement. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/xge0000980DOI Listing
May 2021

Children's implicit food cognition: Developing a food Implicit Association Test.

Cogn Dev 2020 Apr-Jun;54. Epub 2020 May 15.

Center for Human Growth and Development, University of Michigan.

Assessing children's reasoning about food, including their health knowledge and their food preferences, is an important step toward understanding how health messages may influence children's food choices. However, in many studies, assessing children's reasoning relies on parent report or could be susceptible to social pressure from adults. To address these limitations, the present study describes the development of a food version of the Implicit Association Test (IAT). The IAT has been used to examine children's implicit stereotypes about social groups, yet few studies have used the IAT in other domains (such as food cognition). Four- to 12-year-olds ( = 123) completed the food IAT and an explicit card sort task, in which children assessed foods based on their perception of the food's healthfulness (healthy vs. unhealthy) and palatability (yummy vs. yucky). Surprisingly, children demonstrated positive implicit associations towards vegetables. This pattern may reflect children's health knowledge, given that the accuracy of children's healthfulness ratings in the card sort task positively predicted children's food IAT scores. Implications for both food cognition and the IAT are discussed.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cogdev.2020.100889DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7448679PMC
May 2020

Should Individuals Think Like Their Group? A Descriptive-to-Prescriptive Tendency Toward Group-Based Beliefs.

Child Dev 2021 03 26;92(2):e201-e220. Epub 2020 Aug 26.

University of Michigan.

Across three pre-registered studies with children (ages 4-9) and adults (N = 303), we examined whether how a group is predicted evaluations of how group members should be (i.e., a descriptive-to-prescriptive tendency), under conditions in which the descriptive group norms entailed beliefs that were fact-based (Study 1), opinion-based (Study 2), and ideology-based (Study 3). Overall, participants tended to disapprove of individuals with beliefs that differed from their group, but the extent of this tendency varied across development and as a function of the belief under consideration (e.g., younger children did not show a descriptive-to-prescriptive tendency in the context of facts and ideologies, suggesting that they prioritized truth over group norms). Implications for normative reasoning and ideological polarization are discussed.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cdev.13448DOI Listing
March 2021

The development of children's identification of foreigner talk.

Dev Psychol 2020 Sep 6;56(9):1657-1670. Epub 2020 Jul 6.

Department of Psychology.

Although children's use of speech registers such as Baby Talk is well documented, little is known about their understanding of Foreigner Talk, a register addressed to non-native speakers. In Study 1, 4- to 8-year-old children and adults ( = 125) heard 4 registers (Foreigner Talk, Baby Talk, Peer Talk, and Teacher Talk) and predicted who would receive each. By 5 years, children selected the target addressee of Foreigner Talk above chance. In Study 2, 5- to 8-year-old children and adults ( = 94) completed a register match task manipulating 3 addressee cues: language, appearance, and origin. Prior to 7-8 years of age, children did not use the language cue alone when identifying the addressee of Foreigner Talk, and at no age did children use one cue more than another. In contrast, adults made use of language and appearance more than the origin cue. These findings suggest that an understanding of Foreigner Talk emerges by school age yet also undergoes developmental change. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/dev0001078DOI Listing
September 2020

Children's beliefs about causes of human characteristics: Genes, environment, or choice?

J Exp Psychol Gen 2020 Oct 19;149(10):1935-1949. Epub 2020 Mar 19.

Department of Psychology.

To what extent do our genes make us nice, smart, or athletic? The explanatory frameworks we employ have broad consequences for how we evaluate and interact with others. Yet to date, little is known regarding when and how young children appeal to genetic explanations to understand human difference. The current study examined children's (aged 7-13 years) and adults' explanations for a set of human characteristics, contrasting genetic attributions with environmental and choice-based attributions. Whereas most adults and older children offered an unprompted genetic explanation at least once on an open-ended task, such explanations were not seen from younger children. However, even younger children, once trained on the mechanism of genes, endorsed genetic explanations for a range of characteristics-often in combination with environment and choice. Moreover, only adults favored genetic explanations for intelligence and athleticism; children, in contrast, favored environment and choice explanations for these characteristics. These findings suggest that children can employ genetic explanations in principled ways as early as 7 years of age but also that such explanations are used to account for a wider range of features by adults. Our study provides some of the first evidence regarding the ways in which genetic attributions emerge and change starting in early childhood. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/xge0000751DOI Listing
October 2020

Gender essentialism in transgender and cisgender children.

PLoS One 2019 13;14(11):e0224321. Epub 2019 Nov 13.

University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, United States of America.

Children, across cultures, show an early-emerging tendency to essentialize gender, viewing gender as inborn and predictive of stereotypical preferences. However, research has been limited to children whose own gender experience is largely consistent with the assumptions of gender essentialism. In contrast, transgender children have gender identities (and related stereotypical preferences) that differ from their sex assigned at birth, which therefore appear to challenge an essentialist view of gender. In the current study, we examined the degree to which transgender children (N = 97, 3-11 years) view a child's sex at birth as predictive of their later gender-typed preferences. Additionally, we recruited two comparison groups: cisgender siblings of transgender participants (N = 59) and cisgender, age- and gender-matched controls (N = 90). In an adapted switched-at-birth paradigm, participants in all groups believed that a child's sex at birth would predict their later gender-typed preferences; participants were especially likely to think so when the target character was reared in a socialization environment that aligned with the target's own gender, rather than one where the socialization environment aligned with a different gender. Whereas cisgender participants showed a decline in essentialism with age, transgender children did not show any age-related changes in their beliefs. The current findings are the first to show that transgender and cisgender children, despite differences in gender experiences, might similarly essentialize gender. However, these findings also raise questions about how different participant groups might interpret measures differently.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0224321PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6853285PMC
March 2020

Eleanor Emmons Maccoby (1917-2018).

Authors:
Susan A Gelman

Am Psychol 2019 Oct;74(7):845-846

University of Michigan.

This article memorializes Eleanor Emmons Maccoby (1917-2018). Maccoby was a world-renowned scholar of child development, sex differences, and socialization. She tackled the complex question of how children develop with methodological precision and scientific rigor. Her commitment to improving the lives of children underscored not only her research but also her extensive national and international service. Her landmark 1974 book with Carol Jacklin, , revolutionized how we understand "male" and "female." She was a trailblazer for women in academia and an inspiration to those who knew her. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/amp0000516DOI Listing
October 2019

Generic language in scientific communication.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2019 09 26;116(37):18370-18377. Epub 2019 Aug 26.

Department of Psychology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1043;

Scientific communication poses a challenge: To clearly highlight key conclusions and implications while fully acknowledging the limitations of the evidence. Although these goals are in principle compatible, the goal of conveying complex and variable data may compete with reporting results in a digestible form that fits (increasingly) limited publication formats. As a result, authors' choices may favor clarity over complexity. For example, generic language (e.g., "Introverts and extraverts require different learning environments") may mislead by implying general, timeless conclusions while glossing over exceptions and variability. Using generic language is especially problematic if authors overgeneralize from small or unrepresentative samples (e.g., exclusively Western, middle-class). We present 4 studies examining the use and implications of generic language in psychology research articles. Study 1, a text analysis of 1,149 psychology articles published in 11 journals in 2015 and 2016, examined the use of generics in titles, research highlights, and abstracts. We found that generics were ubiquitously used to convey results (89% of articles included at least 1 generic), despite that most articles made no mention of sample demographics. Generics appeared more frequently in shorter units of the paper (i.e., highlights more than abstracts), and generics were not associated with sample size. Studies 2 to 4 ( = 1,578) found that readers judged results expressed with generic language to be more important and generalizable than findings expressed with nongeneric language. We highlight potential unintended consequences of language choice in scientific communication, as well as what these choices reveal about how scientists think about their data.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1817706116DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6744883PMC
September 2019

The Roles of Group Status and Group Membership in the Practice of Hypodescent.

Child Dev 2020 05 8;91(3):e721-e732. Epub 2019 Jul 8.

University of Michigan.

Hypodescent emerged in U.S. history to reinforce racial hierarchy. Research suggests that among contemporary U.S. adults, hypodescent continues to shape social perception. Among U.S. children, however, hypodescent is less likely to be endorsed. Here, we tested for hypodescent by introducing U.S. children (ages 4-9) and adults (N = 273) to hierarchically ordered novel groups (one was high status and another was low status) and then to a child who had one parent from each group. In Study 1, we presented the groups in a third-party context. In Study 2, we randomly assigned participants to the high-status or the low-status group. Across both studies, participants did not reliably endorse hypodescent, raising questions as to what elicits this practice.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cdev.13279DOI Listing
May 2020

Bilingual effects on lexical selection: A neurodevelopmental perspective.

Brain Lang 2019 08 26;195:104640. Epub 2019 Jun 26.

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, United States.

When a listener hears a word, multiple lexical items may come to mind; for instance, /kæn/ may activate concepts with similar phonological onsets such as candy and candle. Acquisition of two lexicons may increase such linguistic competition. Using functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy neuroimaging, we investigate whether bilingualism impacts word processing in the child's brain. Bilingual and monolingual children (N = 52; ages 7-10) completed a lexical selection task in English, where participants adjudicated phonological competitors (e.g., car/cat vs. car/pen). Children were less accurate and responded more slowly during competing than non-competing items. In doing so, children engaged top-down fronto-parietal regions associated with cognitive control. In comparison to bilinguals, monolinguals showed greater activity in left frontal regions, a difference possibly due to bilinguals' adaptation for dual-lexicons. These differences provide insight to theories aiming to explain the role of experience on children's emerging neural networks for lexical selection and language processing.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bandl.2019.104640DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6716384PMC
August 2019

When chatting about negative experiences helps-and when it hurts: Distinguishing adaptive versus maladaptive social support in computer-mediated communication.

Emotion 2020 Apr 10;20(3):368-375. Epub 2019 Jan 10.

Department of Psychology, University of Michigan.

Does talking to others about negative experiences improve the way people feel? Although some work suggests that the answer to this question is "yes," other work reveals the opposite. Here we attempt to shed light on this puzzle by examining how people can talk to others about their negative experiences constructively via computer-mediated communication, a platform that people increasingly use to provide and receive social support. Drawing from prior research on meaning-making and self-reflection, we predicted that cueing participants to reconstrue their experience in ways that lead them to focus on it from a broader perspective during a conversation would buffer them against negative affect and enhance their sense of closure compared with cueing them to recount the emotionally arousing details concerning what happened. Results supported this prediction. Content analyses additionally revealed that participants in the reconstrue condition used the word "you" generically (e.g., you cannot always get what you want) more than participants in the recount condition, identifying a linguistic mechanism that supports reconstrual. These findings highlight the psychological processes that distinguish adaptive versus maladaptive ways of talking about negative experiences, particularly in the context of computer-mediated support interactions. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/emo0000555DOI Listing
April 2020

Ownership Matters: People Possess a Naïve Theory of Ownership.

Trends Cogn Sci 2019 02 26;23(2):102-113. Epub 2018 Dec 26.

University of Michigan, Department of Psychology, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.

Ownership is at the heart of people's daily activities and has been throughout history. People consider ownership when acting on objects, engaging in financial matters, and assessing the acceptability of actions. We propose that people's understanding of ownership depends on an early-emerging, causally powerful, naïve theory of ownership. We draw on research from multiple disciplines to suggest that, from childhood, a naïve theory of ownership includes ontological commitments, causal-explanatory reasoning, and unobservable constructs. These components are unlikely to stem from other core theories or from noncausal representations. We also address why people might have a naïve theory of ownership, how it develops across the lifespan, and whether aspects of this theory may be universal despite variation across cultures and history.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tics.2018.11.008DOI Listing
February 2019

The role of group norms in evaluating uncommon and negative behaviors.

J Exp Psychol Gen 2019 Feb 20;148(2):374-387. Epub 2018 Dec 20.

Department of Psychology.

Children often believe that how a group is reflects how individual group members We provided a strong test of this descriptive-to-prescriptive tendency by examining whether children (Ages 4 to 9) maintained the correctness of group norms even when such norms differed in their prevalence (e.g., drinking juice out of bowls instead of cups; Study 1) or in their valence (e.g., giving people punches instead of flowers; Study 2). In Study 1, disapproval toward nonconformity varied as a function of the norm's prevalence and of participant age. In Study 2, both children and adults approved of conformity to positive norms and disapproved of conformity to negative norms (e.g., "If Glerks make babies cry, an individual Glerk should not"). Nevertheless, across studies, descriptive-to-prescriptive reasoning played a role. In Study 1, participants evaluated nonconformity to common norms as worse than conformity to uncommon norms (even though both cases involved uncommon behavior), and they evaluated nonconformity to uncommon norms as worse than conformity to common norms (even though both cases involved common behavior). In Study 2, participants evaluated nonconformity to positive norms as worse than conformity to negative norms (even though both cases involved negative behavior), and they evaluated nonconformity to negative norms as worse than conformity to positive norms (even though both cases involved positive behavior). Together, these data highlight the limits (and scope) of descriptive-to-prescriptive reasoning and suggest that when children (and adults) evaluate the appropriateness of someone's behavior, they consider not only the behavior, but also, the norms of the group. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/xge0000534DOI Listing
February 2019

Children eat more food when they prepare it themselves.

Appetite 2019 02 16;133:305-312. Epub 2018 Nov 16.

Center for Human Growth and Development, University of Michigan, United States; Department of Nutritional Sciences, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, United States; Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases, University of Michigan, United States.

Encouraging children to participate in food preparation is recommended by pediatric guidelines and has been included in public health interventions. However, little is known about whether the act of preparing a food specifically increases children's intake of that food, nor is it known whether this effect might differ for healthy and familiar unhealthy foods. The present study examines whether 5- to 7-year-old children eat more of a food they prepared themselves compared to the same food prepared by someone else. Children participated in a laboratory study in which they prepared either a salad or a dessert and then had the opportunity to eat the food they prepared and/or a nearly identical food prepared by someone else. We found that children ate more of a food they prepared themselves, but no significant difference was observed in children's ratings of each food. In addition to eating more healthy foods they prepared themselves, children ate more unhealthy foods they prepared themselves, including familiar and well-liked desserts. More specific recommendations are needed if the goal of involving children in food preparation is to promote health.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2018.11.006DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6768385PMC
February 2019

Spendthrifts and Tightwads in Childhood: Feelings about Spending Predict Children's Financial Decision-Making.

J Behav Decis Mak 2018 Jul 28;31(3):446-460. Epub 2017 Dec 28.

Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, 701 Tappan Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109.

Adults differ in the extent to which they find spending money to be distressing; "tightwads" find spending money painful and "spendthrifts" do not find spending painful enough. This affective dimension has been reliably measured in adults, and predicts a variety of important financial behaviors and outcomes (e.g., saving behavior, credit scores). Although children's financial behavior has also received attention, feelings about spending have not been studied in children, as they have in adults. We measured the spendthrift-tightwad (ST-TW) construct in children for the first time, with a sample of 5-to-10-year-old children ( = 225). Children across the entire age range were able to reliably report on their affective responses to spending and saving, and children's ST-TW scores were related to parent reports of children's temperament and financial behavior. Further, children's ST-TW scores were predictive of whether they chose to save or spend money in the lab, even after controlling for age and how much they liked the offered items. Our novel findings - that children's feelings about spending and saving can be measured from an early age and relate to their behavior with money - are discussed with regard to theoretical and practical implications.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/bdm.2071DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6178823PMC
July 2018

How deep do we dig? Formal explanations as placeholders for inherent explanations.

Cogn Psychol 2018 11 4;106:43-59. Epub 2018 Sep 4.

Stanford University, USA.

Formal explanations (e.g., "Mittens has whiskers because she's a cat") pose an intriguing puzzle in human cognition: they seem like little more than tautologies, yet they are surprisingly commonplace and natural-sounding. To resolve this puzzle, we hypothesized that formal explanations constitute an implicit appeal to a category's inherent features rather than simply to the category itself (as their explicit content would suggest); the latter is just a placeholder. We conducted a series of eight experiments with 951 participants that supported four predictions that followed from this hypothesis: First, formal explanations-though natural-sounding-were not particularly satisfying. Second, for natural kinds, formal explanations were less satisfying than inherent explanations (specifically, ones that appealed to a natural kind's causally powerful "essence"). Third, participants viewed essence-related inherent explanations as more specific versions of the ideas expressed by formal explanations, which were viewed as more general placeholders. Fourth, and finally, formal explanations tended to serve as placeholders for explanations that appealed to inherent features more so than for other types of explanations, such as ones that appealed to external, environmental factors. In addition to supporting our novel claim about the meaning of formal explanations, these data suggest a new way in which explanations do their psychological work: not via their literal content (as assumed by prior work on explanation), but rather via the additional inferences they encourage. We end by discussing the potential heuristic value of formal explanations for causal learning in childhood.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cogpsych.2018.08.002DOI Listing
November 2018

Lessons learned: Young children's use of generic-you to make meaning from negative experiences.

J Exp Psychol Gen 2019 Jan 9;148(1):184-191. Epub 2018 Jul 9.

Department of Psychology.

Learning from negative experiences is an essential challenge of childhood. How do children derive meaning from such events? For adults, one way is to move beyond the specifics of a situation by framing it as exemplifying a more general phenomenon. Here we examine whether children are able to make meaning in this way through their use of generic-you, a linguistic device in which people shift from the here and now to refer to people in general. Participants ( = 89, aged 4-10 years) listened to 2 stories depicting common conflicts and were asked to discuss what lessons the character could learn (Lessons Learned condition) and how the character felt (Relive condition). In the Lessons Learned condition, children were more likely to produce generic-you than in the Relive condition. These findings suggest that young children can make meaning from negative experiences by transcending the immediate context of an event to cast it as normative and general. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved).
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/xge0000445DOI Listing
January 2019

An investigation of maternal food intake and maternal food talk as predictors of child food intake.

Appetite 2018 08 11;127:356-363. Epub 2018 May 11.

Department of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases, School of Medicine, University of Michigan, United States; Department of Nutritional Sciences, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, United States.

Though parental modeling is thought to play a critical role in promoting children's healthy eating, little research has examined maternal food intake and maternal food talk as independent predictors of children's food intake. The present study examines maternal food talk during a structured eating protocol, in which mothers and their children had the opportunity to eat a series of familiar and unfamiliar vegetables and desserts. Several aspects of maternal talk during the protocol were coded, including overall food talk, directives, pronoun use, and questions. This study analyzed the predictors of maternal food talk and whether maternal food talk and maternal food intake predicted children's food intake during the protocol. Higher maternal body mass index (BMI) predicted lower amounts of food talk, pronoun use, and questions. Higher child BMI z-scores predicted more first person pronouns and more wh-questions within maternal food talk. Mothers of older children used fewer directives, fewer second person pronouns, and fewer yes/no questions. However, maternal food talk (overall and specific types of food talk) did not predict children's food intake. Instead, the most robust predictor of children's food intake during this protocol was the amount of food that mothers ate while sitting with their children. These findings emphasize the importance of modeling healthy eating through action and have implications for designing interventions to provide parents with more effective tools to promote their children's healthy eating.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2018.04.018DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6768399PMC
August 2018

Getting What You Pay For: Children's Use of Market Norms to Regulate Exchanges.

Child Dev 2019 11 11;90(6):2071-2085. Epub 2018 May 11.

University of Wisconsin.

Children are sensitive to a number of considerations influencing distributions of resources, including equality, equity, and reciprocity. We tested whether children use a specific type of reciprocity norm-market norms-in which resources are distributed differentially based strictly on amount offered in return. In two studies, 195 children 5-10 years and 60 adults distributed stickers to friends offering same or different amounts of money. Overall, participants distributed more equally when offers were the same and more unequally when offers were different. Although sensitive to why friends offered different amounts of money, children increasingly incorporated market norms into their distributions with age, as the oldest children and adults distributed more to those offering more, irrespective of the reasons provided.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cdev.13088DOI Listing
November 2019

How does "emporiophobia" develop?

Behav Brain Sci 2018 01;41:e168

Department of Educational Psychology,University of Wisconsin,Madison,WI

Boyer & Petersen's (B&P's) evolutionary approach to folk-economic beliefs is insightful, with far-reaching implications. We add to their discussion by positing a complementary developmental approach to the study of "emporiophobia" - studying children whose behaviors provide insight into developmental origins. We hypothesize that emporiophobia emerges early in childhood through proximal mechanisms and propose that emporiophobia develops alongside emporiophilia.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0140525X18000341DOI Listing
January 2018

Making Boundaries Great Again: Essentialism and Support for Boundary-Enhancing Initiatives.

Pers Soc Psychol Bull 2017 Dec 14;43(12):1643-1658. Epub 2017 Aug 14.

2 University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA.

Psychological essentialism entails a focus on category boundaries (e.g., categorizing people as men or women) and an increase in the conceptual distance between those boundaries (e.g., accentuating the differences between men and women). Across eight studies, we demonstrate that essentialism additionally entails an increase in support for boundary-enhancing legislation, policies, and social services, and that it does so under conditions that disadvantage social groups, as well as conditions that benefit them. First, individual differences in essentialism were associated with support for legislation mandating that transgender people use restrooms corresponding with their biological sex, and with support for the boundary-enhancing policies of the 2016 then-presumptive Republican presidential nominee (i.e., Donald Trump). Second, essentialism was associated with support for same-gender classrooms designed to promote student learning, as well as support for services designed to benefit LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) individuals. These findings demonstrate the boundary-enhancing implications of essentialism and their social significance.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0146167217724801DOI Listing
December 2017

Do Varieties of Spanish Influence U.S. Spanish-English Bilingual Children's Friendship Judgments?

Child Dev 2019 03 30;90(2):655-671. Epub 2017 Aug 30.

University of Michigan.

Latinos are the largest minority group in the United States (U.S. Census, 2014), yet this term comprises individuals from multiple ethnicities who speak distinct varieties of Spanish. We investigated whether Spanish-English bilingual children (N = 140, ages 4-17) use Spanish varieties in their social judgments. The findings revealed that children distinguished varieties of Spanish but did not use Spanish dialects to make third-person friendship judgments until 10-12 years; this effect became stronger in adolescence. In contrast, young children (4-6 years) made friendship judgments based on a speaker's language (English, Spanish). Thus, using language varieties as a social category and as a basis for making social inferences is a complex result of multiple influences for Spanish-speaking children growing up bilingual in the United States.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cdev.12932DOI Listing
March 2019
-->