The Yale Undergraduate Research Journal


We examined whether children (ages 4-9 years) show in-group bias in expectations to help others as well as obligations to help others. We showed participants vignettes featuring two novel groups and a variety of scenarios where one character is in need and another is a bystander who notices this. Younger children did not show in-group bias in terms of expectations to help others, but an in-group bias was present in older children. For obligations, however, we did not find an interaction between age and group: children think you have to help in-group members more than out-group members, regardless of age. Children of all ages, despite this bias, still think that individuals are obligated to help members of an out-group, just to a lesser degree than they find this obligation towards in-group members.

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