Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Children As Young As Preschoolers Tend To Follow Majority Opinion

Date:
March 15, 2009
Source:
Association for Psychological Science
Summary:
When we are faced with a decision, and we're not sure what to do, usually we'll just go with the majority opinion. When do we begin adopting this strategy of "following the crowd"? A new report in Psychological Science suggests that this tendency starts very early on, around preschool age.

When we are faced with a decision, and we're not sure what to do, usually we'll just go with the majority opinion. When do we begin adopting this strategy of "following the crowd"? In a new report in Psychological Science psychologists Kathleen H. Corriveau, Maria Fusaro, and Paul L. Harris of Harvard University describe experiments suggesting that this tendency starts very early on, around preschool age.

In this study, three- and four-year-old children watched as a small group of people (either three or four members) named a novel object. The majority of group members would use the same name for the object; the lone dissenter would pick a different name. The children were then asked what they thought the object was called.

The results revealed that majority rules when it comes to influencing the opinion of preschoolers. The children in the study would consistently select the name that was used by the majority of the group members. And even more interesting, in a follow-up experiment in which only two members (someone from the majority group and the dissenter) remained in the room and named a different object, the children would still go with name that was provided by the majority group member.

These results indicate that children as young as age three and four are able to recognize and trust a consensus. In addition, young children are good at remembering who was and was not a part of the majority group. The authors note that children are not always faced with agreement during interactions with people and these "findings provide initial evidence that young children navigate that social variation with the help of a simple but powerful strategy."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Association for Psychological Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Corriveau et al. Going With the Flow: Preschoolers Prefer Nondissenters as Informants. Psychological Science, 2009; 20 (3): 372 DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2009.02291.x

Cite This Page:

Association for Psychological Science. "Children As Young As Preschoolers Tend To Follow Majority Opinion." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 March 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090313145943.htm>.
Association for Psychological Science. (2009, March 15). Children As Young As Preschoolers Tend To Follow Majority Opinion. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090313145943.htm
Association for Psychological Science. "Children As Young As Preschoolers Tend To Follow Majority Opinion." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090313145943.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The brains of artists aren't really left-brain or right-brain, but rather have extra neural matter in visual and motor control areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins