“Children’s Use of Social Categories”
Faculty Hosts: Betsy Levy-Paluck & Casey Lew Williams
All societies across human history have divided people into social categories such as race, gender, and religion. In learning to navigate their social environments, children must, at some point, learn which social categories do and do not matter in their societies. In this talk I will describe studies on the kinds of information children take in about the categories around them, how they develop attitudes toward or learn to interact with people based on category information, and how children determine their own group memberships. I will address these questions through experimental lab studies, cross-cultural comparisons, large replications studies, and the recruitment of rare samples. Finally, I will discuss the implications of these findings for intergroup relations, the intergenerational transmission of social bias, and children’s well-being.