Humans' social interactions are characterized by a tension between individual-regarding preferences-such as others' subjective preferences-and group-regarding preferences-such as others' group membership. Using the dictator game, we demonstrate that this tension characterizes even preschool children's distributive behavior, and that it patterns differently across development and genders. Study 1 contrasted ownership of the resource (mine/ours/not mine) with recipients' minimal group membership (in-group/out-group). We found that only boys generated biased distributions favoring the in-group, and preserved common resources as if they were their own. Study 2 revealed that upon learning of recipients' personal preferences (like/doesn't like resource), boys and girls complied with in-group members' preferences, but only boys also manifested a behavior that opposed out-group members' preferences. The early emergence of a balance between individual- and group-regarding preferences sheds light on the origins of parochialism, and its gender selectivity is consistent with evolutionary accounts of the origins of group cognition in humans.
|Original language||American English|
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Evolution and Human Behavior|
|State||Published - 1 Jul 2015|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by the Israel Foundation Trustees (Grant no. 30). We are grateful to the Azor local council and all the teachers who welcomed us. We thank Orly Hatina-Chen, Hanit Yaish, Shulie Zimmerman, and Esti Brookman for data collection.
© 2015 Elsevier Inc.
- Dictator game
- Minimal group
- Resource distribution