Apfelbaum, E. P., Pauker, K., Ambady, N., Sommers, S. R., & Norton, M. I. (2008). Learning (not) to talk about race: When older children underperform in social categorization. Developmental Psychology, 44(5), 1513-1518. doi:10.1037/a0012835
Older children have a better handle on problem solving skills because they have a better memory, better at processing information and understand how to categorize better. This article demonstrates a case where younger children out perform older children on a social categorization tasks that include the acknowledgement of racial difference. Children notice race and race differences as early as six months according to Katz and Kofkin (1997) and by ten most children have internalized the social and moral norms of others. In order to test children’s tendency to boldly acknowledge race versus methodically avoiding it, the researchers created a photo identification matching game. The researchers expected the older children to do much better than the younger children. The researchers hypothesized that around age ten, the children would start to avoid discussing race to appear unprejudiced. The researchers looked at three elementary schools in Boston that served middle class and upper middle class students and allowed 101 participants. They were separated into two groups: Group one consisted of fifty 8 and 9 year olds (25 girls) and Group Two consisted of 51 10 and 11 year olds (26 girls). Both of the groups were predominantly white. Participants were asked to question the facilitator about a card in his or her hand to figure out with the least number of questions possible, who was on the card. This article shows that the internalization of social norms, start around the age of ten years old. This experiment will serve as an open door into the maturing mind of the pre-teen.
Russano, M., Meissner, C., Narchet, F., & Kassin, S. (2005). Investigating true and false confessions within a novel experimental paradigm....
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