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Partner in Crime: Beneficial Cooperation Overcomes Children’s Aversion to Antisocial Others

Katarzyna, Myslinska Szarek, Konrad, Bocian, Wieslaw, Baryla, Bogdan, Wojciszke (2020) Partner in Crime: Beneficial Cooperation Overcomes Children’s Aversion to Antisocial Others. Developmental Science, . pp. 1-14. ISSN 1363-755X. (doi:10.1111/desc.13038) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:83591)

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Abstract

Young children display strong aversion toward antisocial individuals, but also feel responsible for joint activities and express a strong sense of group loyalty. This paper aims to understand how beneficial cooperation with an antisocial partner shapes preschoolers’ attitudes, preferences and moral judgments concerning antisocial individuals. We argue that although young children display a strong aversion to antisocial characters, children may overcome this aversion when they stand to personally benefit. In Study 1a (N = 62), beneficial cooperation with an antisocial partner resulted in the children’s later preference for the antisocial partner over the neutral partner. Study 1b (N = 91) replicated this effect with discrete measurement of liking (resource distribution) and showed that children rewarded more and punished less the antisocial partner in the beneficial cooperation setting. In Study 2, (N = 58), children’s aversion to an antisocial ingroup member decreased when the cooperation benefited other ingroup members. Finally, in Study 3 (N = 62), when children passively observed the antisocial individual, personal benefits from the antisocial behavior did not change their negative attitude toward the antisocial individual. Overall, beneficial cooperation with the antisocial partner increased the children’s liking and preference for the antisocial partner, but did not affect the children’s moral judgments. Presented evidence suggests that by the age of 4, children develop a strong obligation to collaborate with partners who help them to acquire resources – even when these partners harm third parties, which children recognize as immoral.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1111/desc.13038
Uncontrolled keywords: moral development, obligation, cooperation, relationship regulation, attitude
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Psychology > Developmental Psychology
Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Konrad Bocian
Date Deposited: 21 Oct 2020 08:02 UTC
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2020 09:23 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/83591 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Katarzyna, Myslinska Szarek: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2656-7593
Konrad, Bocian: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8652-0167
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