Study shows that negative signals expressed by adult could have great impact on children

Researchers from the University of Washington well-explored the children’s knowledge and use of gender and race labels. Researchers provides a rare glimpse into how children can learn bias even through nonverbal signals displayed by adults.

A study published in the journal Psychological Science, suggests that negative signals expressed by adults have greater impact on the pre-school children than we ever think of. They catch social bias by seeing these negative signals like condescending tone of voice or disapproving look.

Initially an experiment is done with 67 children ages 4 and 5 on both boys and girls. In this experiment a video is shown to children in which two different female actors displayed positive signals to one woman and negative signals to another. To avoid the possibility of racial bias factoring into results video shows all of the same race.

In the video actors greeted both women in the same way and giving both a toy but the nonverbal expressions were different when interaction with one woman versus another. With one woman they interacted with smile, leaning toward her, using a warm tone of voice and with other by scowling, leaning away and speaking in a cold tone.

After that children were asked who they liked the best. With 67% of children favored the recipient of positive nonverbal signals-suggesting they were influenced by the bias shown in the video by actors.


The author Charitz

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