The Role of Skin Color on Children's Biological and Non-Biological Judgments

Lakshmi Raman
2016 International Review of Social Sciences and Humanities   unpublished
The following two studies examined the role of skin color on children's biological and non-biological judgments. Study 1 examined preschoolers, first graders, third graders, fifth graders and adults' reasoning about the impact of skin color on the contraction of common contagious illnesses. Study 2 assessed children's and adults' impact of skin color on positive and negative social behaviors. Results for Study 1 indicated that preschoolers judged that the character in the vignette is more
more » ... to contract an illness from someone who is of a different skin color than himself/herself whereas the older participants did not display this bias. Results of Study 2 indicated that preschoolers did not subscribe to skin color affecting positive and negative social behaviors but elementary school childrenand adults did. Older children and adults judged that the character in the vignette would more likely display more positive behaviors towards someone of their own skin color. These results suggest that children are influenced by biosocial factors such as skin color when making judgments about biological processes and non-biological behaviors.