Children's understanding of dominance and prestige in China and the UK

Anni Kajanus, Narges Afshordi, Felix Warneken

Tutkimustuotos: ArtikkelijulkaisuArtikkeliTieteellinenvertaisarvioitu


Individuals can gain high social rank through dominance (based on coercion and fear) and prestige (based on merit and admiration). We conducted a cross-cultural developmental study and tested 5- to 12-year-olds, and adults in the UK and China, aiming to determine (a) the age at which children distinguish dominance and prestige, and (b) the influence of cultural values on rank-related reasoning. We specifically tested participants in China because of the value of prestigious individuals modestly yielding to subordinates, a social skill that becomes more salient with age. In both populations, the distinction between dominance and prestige emerged at five years, and improved over childhood. When reasoning about a resource conflict between a high-ranking party and a subordinate, adults in both countries expected high-rank individuals to win, although Chinese adults were less likely to do so regarding prestigious individuals. Across the two countries, younger children (5–7 years) responded similarly to each other, not favoring either party as the winner. Older children (9–12 years), however, diverged. Those in the UK chose the high-rank party, while those in China made no systematic inference. Overall, our findings suggest that while children distinguish prestige and dominance comparably in the two countries, they develop culturally-influenced expectations about the behavior of high-rank individuals.
LehtiEvolution and Human Behavior
DOI - pysyväislinkit
TilaJulkaistu - tammikuuta 2020
Julkaistu ulkoisestiKyllä
OKM-julkaisutyyppiA1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä, vertaisarvioitu


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