The boss is always right: Preschoolers endorse the testimony of a dominant over that of a subordinate
Van der Henst, Jean-Baptiste
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Recent research has shown that young children rely on social cues to evaluate testimony. For instance, they prefer to endorse testimony provided by a consensual group than by a single dissenter. Given that dominance is pervasive in children’s social environment, it can be hypothesized that children also use dominance relations in their selection of testimony. To test this hypothesis, a dominance asymmetry was induced between two characters either by having one repeatedly win in physical contests (physical power; Experiment 1) or by having one repeatedly impose her goals on the other (decisional power; Experiment 2). In two subsequent testimony tasks, 3- to 5-year-old children significantly tended to endorse the testimony of the dominant over that of the subordinate. These results suggest that preschoolers take dominance into account when evaluating testimony. In conclusion, we discuss two potential explanations for these findings.
External link to the item10.1016/j.jecp.2016.08.007
- Psicología