Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Children Prefer Those Smiled On By Fate

5- to 7-year-olds more attracted to lucky individuals and groups than victims of bad luck.
Children as young as five to seven years of age prefer lucky individuals over the less fortunate. This phenomenon, the researchers say, could clarify the origins of human attitudes toward differing social groups and help explain the persistence of social inequality.

"Young children express stronger liking for the beneficiaries of good luck compared to the victims of bad lack and generalize this preference to those who share membership in a group. Because the disadvantaged are more likely to experience negative events beyond their control -- such as the tendency for the poor to be most impacted by natural disasters -- this innocuous preference for the privileged may eventually grow more harmful, further increasing negativity toward the disadvantaged. Such preferences may, in turn, help explain the persistence of social inequality." Link.

The work is published in the latest issue of the journal Psychological Science.

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