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The development of national in-group bias: English children's attributions of characteristics to English, American and German people

Barrett, M, Wilson, H and Lyons, E (2003) The development of national in-group bias: English children's attributions of characteristics to English, American and German people British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 21. 193 - 220.

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Abstract

This study investigated the development of national ingroup bias in 5-11-year-old children. Three hundred and seven English children were asked to attribute characteristics to their own national group either on its own or in conjunction with attributing characteristics to one of two national outgroups, either Americans or Germans. The importance which the children ascribed to their own national identity in relationship to their other social identities was also assessed. It was found that, with increasing age, there was an increase in the number of negative characteristics which were attributed to the national ingroup, and an increase in the number of positive characteristics which were attributed to the two outgroups, the net result being an overall reduction in ingroup bias across this age range. However, ingroup favouritism was still exhibited at all ages. Greater importance was attributed to national identity with increasing age. However, the characteristics which were attributed to the English ingroup did not vary as a function of the comparative outgroup which was present while the attributions were being made. The presence of a comparative outgroup also did not affect the importance which was ascribed to the national identity. These findings suggest that children are relatively insensitive to the prevailing comparative context when making judgements about national groups.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: context-dependence; ingroup stereotype; ethnic-attitudes; knowledge; prejudice; ideas; differentiation; categorization; countries; identity
Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Human Sciences > Psychology
Depositing User: Mr Adam Field
Date Deposited: 27 May 2010 14:43
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2013 18:34
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/1727

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