|Alternative Title||The Development of Children's Understanding of Social Power and Its Influence on Their Sharing Behavior|
|Place of Conferral||中国科学院心理研究所|
|Keyword||社会权力 声望 支配 预期 分享行为 儿童|
|Table of Contents|
The social power structure is pervasive in children's social interaction, and the cognition of social power plays an important role in navigating children's behavior in their social interaction with others. There are two ways for power acquisition: the dominance-based strategy (coercive approach to grab power by themselves) and the prestige-based strategy (prosocial approach to acquire power that was granted by ingroup members). In this research, firstly, two studies were conducted to investigate the development of children's beliefs and attitudes towards powerholder and subordinate with age in the two situations of power acquisition to fully reveal children's early cognitive development on social power. And, it has been demonstrated by many studies with an adult sample that power reduces the prosocial behavior, but the influence of power on children's prosocial behavior is still little known. Therefore, this study also examined the influence of social power on children's sharing behavior.
Study 1 examined the development of children's belief about the powerholder and the subordinate. Experiment 1a and experiment 1b examined the behavioral expectations of the 4- to 8-year-old children (N=116) in two different power situations and their influencing factors. Experiment la has found that the development pattern of children's behavioral expectations to powerholder and subordinate changed from non-discrimination of power situations during the preschool period to discrimination of power situations during the early primary school age. That is, preschool children (4-6 years old) expected powerholders were more likely to control resources and held no expectation preference for sharing resources in both situations. However, the early school-age children (7-8 years old) expected powerholders controlling resources and subordinates sharing resources in the dominance-based situation, while expected the powerholder and subordinates were equally likely to control or share resources in the prestige-based situation. The results of experiment 1b showed that children's theory of mind and empathy could predict children's expectation to the behavior of powerholder and subordinates, but the effects of maternal parenting style and family socio-economic status were not found.
Study 2 examined children's attitude to the dominant and subordinate. Three experiments explored the resource allocation preferences of high- and low-powered children in 4-8 years of age (N=315) in dominance-based and prestige-based power situations. Experiment 2a found that with age, the resource allocation of children aged 4-8 years in the power situation changed from favoring the dominant to favoring the subordinate, and the favor difference between these two power situations emerged when children were 6 years old. Specifically, their resource allocation to high and low powers favors higher powers in prestige situations than in dominant situations. Further experiment 2b and experiment 2c have also shown the impacts of children's cognitive resources and the development of children's fair cognition on children's resource allocation in power situations.
Study 3 explored the influence of the position of social power on children's sharing behavior and the mediating role of theory of mind by manipulating the position of social power of children aged 4-7 (N=70). The results showed that power reduced the sharing behavior of young children and reduced the performance of young children in theory of mind tasks, but does not find the mediating role of theory of mind in the relation between the social power and children's sharing behavior.
Overall, this research suggests that the development of children's beliefs and attitudes towards the powerholder and the subordinate changed from the preschool non-discrimination of power situations to the early school-aged distinction of power situation based on dominance or prestige. Children's beliefs towards the powerholder and the subordinate may be influenced by the development of the Theory of Mind and empathy, and their attitudes to the powerholder and the subordinate are influenced by the limited cognitive resources and the development of their fair cognition. Meanwhile, power reduced children's sharing behavior and performance in the Theory of Mind task, and theory of mind did not mediate the relationship between power and children's sharing behavior.
|程南华. 儿童社会权力认知的发展及其对分享行为的影响[D]. 中国科学院心理研究所. 中国科学院大学,2018.|
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