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Young children perceive less humanness in outgroup faces

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JournalDevelopmental Science
DateAccepted/In press - 26 Oct 2016
DateE-pub ahead of print - 21 Feb 2017
DatePublished (current) - 1 Mar 2018
Issue number2
Volume21
Number of pages10
Pages (from-to)1-10
Early online date21/02/17
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Abstract
We investigated when young children first dehumanise outgroups. Across two studies, 5- and 6-year-olds were asked to rate how human they thought a set of ambiguous doll-human face morphs were. We manipulated whether these faces belonged to their gender in- or gender outgroup (Study 1) and to a geographically-based in- or outgroup (Study 2). In both studies, the tendency to perceive outgroup faces as less human relative to ingroup faces increased with age. Explicit ingroup preference, in contrast, was present even in the youngest children and remained stable across age. These results demonstrate that children dehumanise outgroup members from relatively early in development and suggest that the tendency to do so may be partially distinguishable from intergroup preference. This research has important implications for our understanding of children’s perception of humanness and the origins of intergroup bias.

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© 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details.

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