Encouraging children to mentalise about a perceived outgroup increases prosocial behaviour towards outgroup members

Publication Year
2019

Type

Journal Article
Abstract

We investigated whether encouraging young children to discuss the mental states of an immigrant group would elicit more prosocial behaviour towards them and impact on their perception of a group member's emotional experience. Five- and 6-year-old children were either prompted to talk about the thoughts and feelings of this social group or to talk about their actions. Across two studies, we found that this manipulation increased the extent to which children shared with a novel member of the immigrant group who was the victim of a minor transgression. The manipulation did not lead to greater sharing towards a victim from the children's own culture and did not influence their perception of a victim's negative emotions. These results may ultimately have implications for interventions aimed at fostering positive intergroup relations within the context of immigration.

Journal
Developmental Science
Volume
22
Pages
1-12
Type of Article
Journal Article
Full text

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Type of Prejudice/Bias
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Method