Popularity Perception and Favoritism by 3- to 7-Year-Old Children Open Access

Doctor, Hazel Marie (2014)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/12579s83q?locale=en
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Abstract

What does it mean to be popular? The purposes, dynamics, and effects of popularity have been explored since the 1930s through teachers' reports and sociometric models. More recently, studies on popularity have focused on differences between implicit and explicit views of higher status peers among older children (8 to 12 years old) and adolescents. The current study examined the implicit views from children from ages 3 to 7 (N = 57) through an Implicit Association Task (IAT) and the explicit tendencies of favoritism in moral decision-making tasks. In the IAT, participants matched popular or unpopular figures to positive or negative qualities. Results show differences among age groups in response times for selections, but did not show differences in response rates for choices that were either congruent or incongruent with popularity (i.e., having more or less friends). Furthermore, implicit and explicit views of popularity differed. In the moral decision-making tasks, three-year-olds displayed greater favoritism towards the popular figure, while five to seven-year-olds did so for the unpopular figure. These findings suggest that beyond three years, children do not prioritize higher peer status in moral decision-making. Overall, the findings shed a novel light on the early perceptions of popularity and its development.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION 1

METHOD 20

RESULTS 25

Table 1 28

Table 2 28

Table 3 29

Table 4 30

Table 5 30

Table 6 30

DISCUSSION 31

CONCLUSION 38

REFERENCES 40

APPENDIX 48


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