Social Norms and self-presentation: Children's implicit and explicit intergroup attitudes

A. Rutland, L. Cameron, Alan Berkeley Milne, Peter McGeorge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

303 Citations (Scopus)


Two studies examined whether social norms and children's concern for self-presentation affect their intergroup attitudes. Study 1 examined racial intergroup attitudes and normative beliefs among children aged 6 to 16 years (n=155). Accountability (i.e., public self-focus) was experimentally manipulated, and intergroup attitudes were assessed using explicit and implicit measures. Study 2 (n=134) replicated Study 1, focusing on national intergroup attitudes. Both studies showed that children below 10 years old were externally motivated to inhibit their in-group bias under high public self-focus. Older children were internally motivated to suppress their bias as they showed implicit but not explicit bias. Study 1, in contrast to Study 2, showed that children with low norm internalization suppressed their out-group prejudice under high public self-focus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)451-466
Number of pages16
JournalChild Development
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2005


  • in-group bias
  • subjective group-dynamics
  • racial attitudes
  • ethnic diversity
  • prejudice reduction
  • american children
  • association test
  • group favoritism
  • exclusion
  • identification


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