Sunday, November 26, 2006

Roots of social inequality? Children in Ivy League study show preference for lucky people

Children prefer lucky to the unluckyIn a joint study that may ultimately teach us much about the prejudices humans harbor regarding class and privilege, Harvard and Stanford psychologists have discovered that children as young as 5 prefer lucky people over the unlucky:

"Our experiments show the difficulties that confront youngsters as they make judgments of those touched by luck or misfortune... Young children express stronger liking for the beneficiaries of good luck compared to the victims of bad luck and generalize this preference to those who share membership in a group. Because the disadvantaged are more likely to experience negative events beyond their control - such as the tendency for the poor to be most impacted by natural disasters - this innocuous preference for the privileged may eventually grow more harmful, further increasing negativity toward the disadvantaged. Such preferences may, in turn, help explain the persistence of social inequality."
(Via Boing Boing.)