Thursday, April 17, 2014
Toddlers show racial bias when picking playmates, a study reveals
Researchers tested the reaction of white 15-month-olds as toys were distributed. Two white adults divided the toys, one equally and the other unequally. Seventy per cent of the toddlers chose to play with the researcher who distributed the toys fairly. But in a second test, when one researcher favored a white recipient over an Asian one, they picked the "fair" researcher less often. And the babies are more likely to help those who share the same ethnicity, which is known as in-group bias when people favor those with the same characteristics as oneself. The study revealed that when it came to picking a playmate, the babies seemed more tolerant of unfairness when the white recipient benefited from it. They picked the fair experimenter less often when the unfair experimenter gave more toys to the white recipient rather than the Asian one. The researchers say that this implies that babies can take into account both race and social history when deciding which person would make a better playmate.