MetaTOC stay on top of your field, easily

Effects of consistency between self and in‐group on children's views of self, groups, and abilities


Social Development

Published online on


Children's developing views of self and in‐groups inevitably conflict at points during childhood (e.g., a girl who thinks of herself as strong encounters the gender stereotype that girls are weak). How are self and group views reconciled in such cases? To test hypotheses based on Greenwald et al.'s model of self, group, and attribute relations, children (N = 107; ages 7–12; M = 9 years, 6 months) were assigned to novel social groups, denoted by red and blue t‐shirts, in their classrooms. Across 3 weeks, children completed three novel tasks and received false feedback on personal and group task performance, producing a between‐subjects experimental design in which children received either consistent or inconsistent self and group feedback. Immediately after receiving feedback, children answered questions about the particular task. Finally, upon completion of all three manipulations, children completed measures of views of the self and novel groups. As predicted, children's views of the tasks, self, and groups were influenced by feedback. Unexpectedly, children viewed themselves as more similar to the in‐group than out‐group irrespective of feedback consistency. Furthermore, children developed in‐group biased attitudes, but these biases were largely unrelated to feedback.