How Children'S Evaluations Change Based on a Leader'S Conforming or Nonconforming Behaviors


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Kids tend to be sensitive to group leaders who don't follow group norms, a new study suggests.

Researchers from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that the younger a child is, the more likely he or she is to evaluate a leader's "non-conforming" behavior.

In the experiment, researchers described leaders and non-leaders as "powerful" and "in charge of other hibbles"and then asked the kids to evaluate whether the leader or non-leader broke group norms by eating a different kind of berry, speaking a different language, or listening to the favorite music of the alternate group.

The kids ages 4 to 11 from the US and China were then asked to evaluate a leader's non-conforming behavior versus an ordinary group member's conforming behavior.

The older the child, the more likely he or she was to evaluate the leader's non-conforming behavior.

"We found that they didn't make any difference in evaluation between these two conditions, which means that it was only when the kids were evaluating the non-conforming behaviors that they showed a positive bias for the leader," says Yuchen Tian, one of the study's co-authors, in a press release Read the Entire Article


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