The sources of normativity: young children's awareness of the normative structure of games.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

In two studies, the authors investigated 2- and 3-year-old children's awareness of the normative structure of conventional games. In the target conditions, an experimenter showed a child how to play a simple rule game. After the child and the experimenter had played for a while, a puppet came (controlled by a 2nd experimenter), asked to join in, and then performed an action that constituted a mistake in the game. In control conditions, the puppet performed the exact same action as in the experimental conditions, but the context was different such that this act did not constitute a mistake. Children's normative responses to the puppet's acts (e.g., protest, critique, or teaching) were scored. Both age groups performed more normative responses in the target than in the control conditions, but the 3-year-olds did so on a more explicit level. These studies demonstrate in a particularly strong way that even very young children have some grasp of the normative structure of conventional activities.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Rakoczy, H; Warneken, F; Tomasello, M

Published Date

  • May 2008

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 44 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 875 - 881

PubMed ID

  • 18473651

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1939-0599

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0012-1649

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1037/0012-1649.44.3.875


  • eng