British Journal of Developmental Psychology

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Volume 34 Issue 4 (November 2016), Pages 471-597

Evaluations of moral and conventional intergroup transgressions (pages 489-501)

To investigate children's understanding of intergroup transgressions, children (3–8 years, = 84) evaluated moral and conventional transgressions that occurred among members of the same gender group (ingroup) or members of different gender groups (outgroup). All participants judged moral transgressions to be more wrong than conventional transgressions. However, when asked to make a judgment after being told an authority figure did not see the transgression, younger participants still judged that moral violations were less acceptable than conventional transgressions, but judged both moral and conventional transgressions with an outgroup victim as more acceptable than the corresponding transgressions with an ingroup victim. Older children did not demonstrate the same ingroup bias; rather they focused only on the domain of the transgressions. The results demonstrate the impact intergroup information has on children's evaluations about both moral and conventional transgressions.

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