Children's norm enforcement in their interactions with peers.
This study investigates how children negotiate social norms with peers. In Study 1, 48 pairs of 3- and 5-year-olds (N = 96) and in Study 2, 48 pairs of 5- and 7-year-olds (N = 96) were presented with sorting tasks with conflicting instructions (one child by color, the other by shape) or identical instructions. Three-year-olds differed from older children: They were less selective for the contexts in which they enforced norms, and they (as well as the older children to a lesser extent) used grammatical constructions objectifying the norms ("It works like this" rather than "You must do it like this"). These results suggested that children's understanding of social norms becomes more flexible during the preschool years.
Köymen, B; Lieven, E; Engemann, DA; Rakoczy, H; Warneken, F; Tomasello, M
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